Mexico

The United States Has Become A “Flawed Democracy”!

Americans want to believe that their nation is a paragon of “democracy”, but by estimates of many experts who watch how governments change in their level of democracy, the United States has become a “flawed democracy”.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research division of the publication THE ECONOMIST, has rated the nations of the world as “Full Democracies”, “Flawed Democracies”, “Hybrid Regimes”, and “Authoritarian Regimes”.

The United States is in the “Flawed Democracies” category as Number 25, second on the “Flawed Democracies” list behind France, which also has fallen out of the “Full Democracies” listing!

23 Nations are “Full Democracies”, led by Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada. Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and The Netherlands are the next five, with the latter two actually tied for 9th!

Other major nations in the “Full Democracies” list include, among others, Taiwan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, and South Korea.

Inspiring is the fact that Taiwan, Chile, and South Korea have become democracies in recent decades, but sadly so many more nations have moved away from democracy, and the fact that the US and France are put at the top of “Flawed Democracies” is troubling! And Israel and Italy are 5 and 6 as “Flawed Democracies”. And Mexico is way down, near the bottom of 52 nations that are “Flawed Democracies”.

“Hybrid Regimes” are the next 35 nations, and “Authoritarian Regimes” were 57 in number, with the total of nations on the list being 167.

Trump Clearly Deranged As He Fumbles From One Threat To Another, Undermining American Democracy

Donald Trump has threatened imminent war with Iran in the past week.

Donald Trump has threatened massive tariffs on Mexican goods in the past two weeks.

Donald Trump has threatened massive waves of immigration raids and mass deportations in the past few days.

On each of these threats, he has backed off.

No one can predict the change in moods of Donald Trump from one day to another, and his lies have multiplied to such an extent that no one knows whether he has any concept of reality.

Trump is clearly deranged as he fumbles from one threat to another, undermining American democracy and international stability.

And Mike Pence gives us no optimism, as he clearly has no willingness to challenge any of the inconsistencies of Trump, seeing himself as the heir apparent to Trump.

The domestic and foreign crises that America faces are massive, and now we face the donnybrook that is likely among Democratic Presidential contenders, who will begin to split and divide amongst themselves starting on Wednesday and Thursday nights in Miami.

It is hard to have any optimism, as this blogger and author returns from two weeks of living in ignorance, and now realizing how the situation facing all of us looks worse than ever!

Donald Trump Declares Mexico Border Will Be Closed, Which Would Cause Massive Economic Disaster

Donald Trump is acting more wacky and crazy by the day, and now declares he will close the Mexico border down next week if Mexico does not crack down on immigration at the border.

This is an unconstitutional action, as it would cut off multiple billions of dollars in trade and other economic activity with a major trade partner that shares a nearly 2,000 mile boundary with the United States.

It would also heavily damage the economies of Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico, and would prevent people who cross the border daily for work or for family needs to do so.

It is a threatened reckless action, and something needs to be done to insure that such threat is not followed through on, as it is another clear sign of maniacal behavior dangerous to the nation and the world.

Two Votes Putting Members Of Congress On Record For Future: The National Emergency Declaration, And The “Green” New Deal

In the next two weeks, we will see two votes in Congress, putting Democrats and Republicans on the record for the future on two major issues—The National Emergency Declaration by President Donald Trump regarding the need for a Border Wall with Mexico for national security reasons; and the promotion of a “Green New Deal” to deal with the emergent crisis of climate change.

Both houses of Congress will have to take stand on these issues, and both will have an effect on the 2020 Presidential and Congressional elections coming up in a little more than 20 months.

In a sense, the nation’s long term future will be dependent on these issues, and whether America will slide into a Presidential dictatorship, with unwillingness to confront not only that crisis, but the crisis of environmental disaster in coming decades.

Trump’s State Of The Union Address: LIES, LIES, LIES!

President Donald Trump gave his second State of the Union Address last night, and it was full of lies, mistruths, and pure propaganda.

Trump claimed the economy has been brilliant under him, completely forgetting, conveniently, that the greatest economic revival from an economic downturn was under Barack Obama, who came in with 10 percent unemployment and brought it down below 5 percent; and the stock market having its greatest percentage growth ever under any President.

Trump claimed crime by undocumented immigrants was a massive problem, when the crime rate by American citizens is far higher, and crimes by undocumented immigrants, while sadly occurring and creating some victims, is NOT a major issue across the nation. It is white supremacists who are Americans, who are committing most crimes, and the victims are people of color.

Trump claimed that the Mexico border is seeing a massive flow of “caravans”, a claim which is totally created in his imagination, as the migration across the border is the lowest since the 1970s, but he has no issue in making Mexicans the enemy, and undermining relations with our neighbor, which shares a 2,000 mile border with us.

Trump talks about the need for infrastructure spending, and the issue of health care, but his administration has failed to deal with either issue, and instead has just been out to throw millions of Americans off the Affordable Care Act, without any alternative.

Trump speaks about the accomplishments of women, but it is because of his misogyny that we have seen the election of more women to Congress than ever before in American history, and they will not tolerate his sexism, and are working to fight for the rights of women, including to their own bodies.

Trump calls for the end of investigations, but it is the responsibility of Congress and the Justice Department to learn all of the facts about corruption and manipulations of the election, and Trump is on the Titanic, and the ship is sinking. His threat that no progress can be made is empty, as nothing positive has been accomplished in his first two years, and political scientists rate him after one year as number 44 out of 44 Presidents. Even conservatives and Republicans who are part of the American Political Science Association rate Trump only number 40 out of 44. So Trump will not survive his term and will be rated the absolutely worst President in US history, a well deserved conclusion.

Christopher Wray, Gina Haspel, Michael Rogers And Dan Coats, Heads Of Intelligence Agencies, Strongly Disagree With Donald Trump On Major National Security Threats

The heads of the national intelligence agencies testified in open session before Congressional committees on Tuesday, and warned of the dangers to national security that exist in an unsafe world.

Christopher Wray, head of the FBI; Gina Haspel, head of the CIA; Michael Rogers, head of the NSA; and Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, warned that America faced great threats from Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS, and Iran, making clear that they did not agree with President Donald Trump, who has undermined all intelligence, and says none of these nations and forces, except for Iran, are a threat.

Ironically, the three Intelligence heads said Iran is actually keeping the nuclear agreement that Donald Trump has given up, despite the support of the Western democratic nations–Great Britain, France, and Germany–for continuation of that agreement.

The “love affair” of Trump for Kim Jong Un; the trust and secret meetings that Trump has had with Vladimir Putin; the rocky relationship between the US and China; and the attitude that ISIS is no longer a threat in the Middle East, are alarming, and yet all Trump says in response to the intelligence conclusions is to say that these people need to go back to school.

It is Trump who is truly dangerous and too trusting of authoritarian nations, when he has no experience, no background, no knowledge on international relations, and is causing undue threats to the future of American foreign policy as a result.

Instead, Trump sees the Border Wall issue with Mexico as more of a national security threat, when none of the intelligence agencies see any threat on the Southern border, and dismiss the whole issue of the Border Wall as unnecessary.

We have a President who is truly warped in his views, dangerous to the nation, and could be leading us down a road toward true disaster, which could be far worse than September 11.

And we have to wonder why he engages in secret diplomacy without translators or note takers in meetings, many unreported, with Putin, and it all makes one think of the film from 1962, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.

We cannot afford to have such an uneducated and morally and ethically challenged President as Donald Trump in authority much longer, without a disastrous effect on America and its future.

Even Mike Pence, with all of his horrible social views on many issues, cannot be imagined to be likely to follow the same foreign policy as Trump, were he to succeed to the Presidency. We are at a point where he may be the only likely alternative, but better for American national security and safety than Donald Trump.

Trump’s Border Wall Is Not Based On National Security, But Simply Pure Racism Against Darker Skinned People

Trump’s insistence on a border wall with Mexico is NOT based on concerns about national security, as there is little danger of that, and statistics demonstrate that most people we would term “terrorists” come through airports or ports of entry, not by walking or traveling through the difficult terrain that Central American migrants escaping violence, sexual abuse, and gang violence have used to pursue freedom and a new chance on a decent life for what is mostly women and children.

Yes, there is the problem of cocaine and other drugs coming to America, but it mostly goes through elaborate tunnels that have been constructed, are very sophisticated, and are extremely numerous in number and hard to detect by drug agents and border agents.

So why is Donald Trump pursuing this, despite two thirds of the American people being opposed to it, and wanting the end of the crippling federal government shutdown that is impoverishing millions, not just the actual federal workers and their families, but subsidiary businesses that are suffering from the lack of economic activity that has ensued?

Clearly, it is pure racism against darker skinned people, who Trump sees as inferior, and we have already heard his disgraceful, despicable comments about people from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, as well as from Asian countries.

We have never had a President as racist as Donald Trump. Yes, we had Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson,and all of the slave holding Presidents. We also had others who we know had the tendency to be racist in their language, such as Richard Nixon on the Watergate tapes, and in earlier lives, such as Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson. But Trump is far worse than any of these, and has been his entire life, including when he was a landlord with his father back in the 1970s in New York City, and in many other situations ever since.

Trump is a combination of the worst racists of modern times in America—the dead Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and George Wallace; and those who are alive, including Pat Buchanan, David Duke, and Richard Spencer, among others.

The only time we had to worry about such a personality on the Presidential level was George Wallace in 1968, but he ran on a third party, winning five states and 13.5 percent of the vote, so could not win the Presidency.

And even George Wallace, in later years, after the assassination attempt by Arthur Bremer in 1972 left him paralyzed for life, changed his views, asked for forgiveness for his racism, and was accepted as reformed by many in the Civil Rights Movement.

There is no hope for Donald Trump in this regard, and his racism will always mark him as, certainly for modern times, the worst person on the race issue, without any chance of redemption.

Donald Trump Taking America On Road Of Total Diplomatic, Economic, Constitutional, and Environmental Disasters By His Egotistical Child Like Behavior: Time For Action Now!

As 2018 comes to an end in a few days, it is perfectly clear that President Donald Trump is taking America on the road of total diplomatic and economic disasters by his egotistical child like behavior.

Trump is endangering our friendship and alliance with such nations as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Israel by his reckless courting of the leaders of Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, his worship of their authoritarian leaders.

His lack of realism in American foreign policy is emboldening North Korea to continue to develop nuclear weapons; for Russia to develop new nuclear weapons as well; for Saudi Arabia and Turkey to wield power in the Middle East that endangers Israel’s security; and for the relationship with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to become the worst in a century.

His economic policies are leading us toward a Great Depression, and the destruction of our agricultural economy through the imposition of protectionist tariffs, which never benefit workers or consumers.

His authoritarian bent endangers the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution, and his failure to accept the environmental realities of global warming endanger the nation and the entire planet.

His lack of civility undermines what all parents should teach their children, to be respectful and tolerant toward the opposite gender, as well as people of all religions and nationalities.

The President is the worst role model imaginable, and the corruption and scandals surrounding his administration will soon be investigated in detail by the Democratic Party, and accountability will finally occur.

Is George H. W. Bush The “Best” One Term President In American History, Surpassing James K. Polk, And What About Jimmy Carter?

Now that George H. W. Bush is part of American history, the question arises whether he should be judged the “best” one term President in American history.

We have had the following 12 one term elected Presidents who finished their term, but were not given a second term:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William Howard Taft
Herbert Hoover
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush

Eight of them, all but Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, and Hayes were defeated for reelection, with those four choosing not to run, and all of these four, except Polk, very unpopular and aware that they were not wanted to be nominated for another term.

The usual viewpoint has been that James K. Polk, with the acquisition of the American Southwest by war with Mexico, and acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by the Oregon treaty with Great Britain, was the most successful one term President. Labeled an expansionist and an imperialist by many, the fact that he presided over the greatest expansion of US territory since Thomas Jefferson, has helped him to be regarded by scholars as a “successful” President, rated 12 to 14 in scholarly polls.

Now, some are saying that George H. W. Bush may be greater than Polk, due to his foreign policy accomplishments in particular, including the end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany, and the Persian Gulf War, along with his domestic policies of “A Thousand Points Of Light”, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Some on this list, including Van Buren, Pierce, Buchanan, Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Taft, and Hoover are seen in a poor light, while J. Q. Adams is seen as not having succeeded in his one term, although a great man, and his father, John Adams, criticized for the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, curbing civil liberties during his term.

The only other one term President who could be seen as competing would be Jimmy Carter, with his Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, the Panama Canal Treaty, his Human Rights advocacy, his creation of new cabinet agencies (Departments of Education, Health And Human Services, Energy), and his exceptional record on the environment, but his negatives, including high inflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Cuban Mariel Boat Lift all help to undermine his case.

So, one could argue that Polk and Bush may be competitive as the “best” one term elected President, without a clear cut answer to the question of who was the better President.

It might be best to say that Polk was the best 19th century one term elected President, while Bush was the best 20th century one term elected President, with Jimmy Carter as the runner up in that regard.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.