Middle Class

Chuck Schumer, The Great Jewish Hope: The Highest Ranking Elected Jew Ever In American Government!

The new Senate Minority Leader is New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been in the Senate since 1999, and defeated a tough opponent, Republican three term Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

Schumer began his political career at the age 23, and entered the House of Representatives at age 29 from Brooklyn, New York.

He had to compete first with fellow, soon to be retired Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and then his newly elected replacement, Hillary Clinton, who would seek the Presidency despite being the Junior Senator from New York.

Schumer worked his way up the leadership, being a loyal subordinate for ten years to Nevada Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and built up the Democratic majority in 2006 and 2008, before the bottom fell out, and the Democrats lost seats, from a high of 60 down to 46 and now up to 48 in 2017.

Schumer is a man who is very accessible and warm, and will do a lot of good for the Democrats, and he happens to have the distinction of being the highest ranking elected Jews ever in American government.

Yes, we have had other distinguished Jewish US Senators, but none in a leadership position in the Senate.

Yes, we had House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, second ranking in the House of Representatives, and hoping to become Speaker of the House someday, before he was defeated for nomination to his seat in 2014 by a more extremist right wing Republican, David Brat.

Yes, we have had Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who was Vice Presidential nominee with Al Gore in 2000, when they won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Yes, we have had Jewish cabinet officers, including Henry Morgenthau, Jr, Henry Kissinger, Abraham Ribicoff, and Arthur Goldberg among others, who have had impact on government.

And yes, we have had Jewish Supreme Court Justices by appointment, including Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan among others.

But Schumer has the potential to have a greater impact politically than most party leaders, so we must wish him the best fortune as the Democrats battle against the Trump Presidency.

Yesterday, Schumer gave a fighting, defiant speech to the Senate on his first day as Minority Leader, making it clear his party would contest Trump on the Cabinet and on every policy that undermines the middle class and promotes the elite wealthy against the average American.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions: A Horrible Successor To The Position Of Attorney General

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions may be very cordial and pleasant to his Senate colleagues, but he is clearly a horrible successor to the position of Attorney General of the Unites States.

The only Senator given a cabinet post, Sessions is, unfortunately, the totally wrong choice to enforce civil liberties and civil rights. He is rated one of the most conservative, hard right members of the US Senate.

He was rejected for a Circuit Court Judgeship thirty years ago by a Republican controlled Senate due to his insensitive statements on race, and has no record of tolerance on immigrants, Latinos, Muslims, gays and lesbians, and women.

Sessions would present a very different image of the Justice Department, to favor the powerful and elite over the powerless and middle class and poor in legal and constitutional matters.

He voted against use of medicinal marijuana, and is opposed to stem cell research. He also was highly critical and voted against Barack Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Sessions is like bringing back the “Old South” image of George Wallace, Jesse Helms, and Strom Thurmond, with lack of concern about the growing number of cases of police behavior in controversial cases where people of minority status are often the victim of trigger happy cops, and end up deceased.

Will the Senate again reject one of its own, of the majority party as thirty years ago? That is the question that will be focused on next month when Sessions faces Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Trump Cabinet Appointments And Other Top Advisers Mostly A “Basket Of Deplorables”! An Outrage To Presidential Cabinet History!

Donald Trump is nearing the end of his search for Cabinet appointments and other top advisers, and sadly, the group is mostly a “Basket of Deplorables”, an outrage to Presidential Cabinet history!

The problem is that some skeptical Republicans and the entire Democratic Party in the US Senate have limited ability to prevent or hold up more than a few of this disgraceful group.

The list of people Trump is offering us includes people too close to Russia; people who are billionaires and deeply engaged in the corporate culture; people who are totally inexperienced and unqualified to hold the positions they are being offered; people who are retired generals who have not been retired long enough from the military, so must have legislation passed to allow them to serve, undermining the idea of civilian control; and people who are simply outrageous in their views on the environment, education, health care, labor rights, and foreign policy.

It is hard to find anyone who one can be content with as a choice, and it seems as if Donald Trump is determined to select the kind of people which seem assured to wish to destroy not only the Barack Obama legacy, the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, but also to promote the interests of major corporations such as in the oil industry and Wall Street at the expense of workers, consumers, and the middle class and the poor, while also stirring up animosity toward China, Iran, and North Atlantic Treaty allies, while strangely becoming cozy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

We are on the road to a massive constitutional crisis that may surpass Richard Nixon and Watergate, and Donald Trump seems very willing and able to create one crisis after another, as he lurches toward Fascist type government, and declares war on the news media and civil liberties and civil rights. He is already alarming many members of the Republican Party, which he feels no loyalty to, and to think that we are seeing John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Floyd Flake as already alarmed about his controversial statements and actions, and he is not yet inaugurated as President, but already is stirring a tempest, is a sign of the crisis that is coming after January 20, 2017!

I just published an article on the Trump Cabinet choices on History News Network, and it is posted on the blog on the right side for everyone to read and consider.

The Total Unpredictability Of Donald Trump Matched Against His Desire To Be Our “Greatest” President: A “Wild Card” Presidency Awaits Us!

It is clear that Donald Trump is totally unpredictable in what he will do in the Presidency.

This is matched against his desire to be our “Greatest” President ever, in his own mind.

So a “Wild Card” Presidency awaits us, with probably some surprises that will be positive in some form, but also many surprises that will be negative. and some extremely negative and damaging to America and its stability, reputation, and long term future.

This is what has happened as a result of the anger of the American people over their dysfunctional government, much of it caused, ironically, by the Republican Party, and who are now being awarded total power out of the ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry of millions of white Americans, who have been fed the idea that the “black man”, Barack Obama was,somehow, an evil President, and that the only choice was to elect a person with no morals, ethics, experience, or qualifications to be President. The fact that he was a bully, racist, nativist, misognynist, and has white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, anti Semites, and homophobes around him only made him more appealing to those Americans who exude hate in their daily lives.

The next four years will be very troubling and disconcerting, but those who see the dangers, while hoping for the best, and willing to applaud anything good that Trump does, must be on constant watch to expose and reveal the shortcomings and dangers that Donald Trump represents. A constitutional crisis seems in the offing on so many issues, and life will be more difficult for those Americans who are minorities, women, poor people, middle class, labor, or environmentalists, as the truth about Donald Trump reveals itself, even to those who did not see it coming, and actually voted for a true demagogue!

Middle Class “Rust Belt” Voters (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin) Favor Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump

Many Republicans seem to think that middle class “Rust Belt” voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin will abandon their strong support for Democrats in Presidential elections and vote for Donald Trump in 2016.

That is totally delusional, as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin have been strongly “Blue” for the past six Presidential elections, and will not change this November.

Ohio is a different story, as it is the ultimate “Swing” state, and that is why Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democratic Senator, might be selected as Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate.

If Donald Trump was able to convince Ohio Governor John Kasich or Ohio Senator Rob Portman, to be his running mate for Vice President, the odds of the Republicans winning Ohio would be vastly improved, but there seems to be zero chance of either Ohio Republican office holder taking up such an offer.

Polls so far make it clear that Hillary Clinton is strongly favored to carry all four “Rust Belt” states.

Bernie Sanders Finally Gains Secret Service Protection: Long Overdue And Essential With Extremist Rhetoric Circulating About Sanders!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, not Communist in any fashion, is now receiving Secret Service protection, due to his rise in the polls; his basic tie with Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucuses; and his large crowds, second only to Donald Trump.

This has been long needed to do, as Sanders has already been labeled a Communist, a Marxist, a believer in social revolution; and is a major critic of Wall Street, who says what he thinks.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and others are starting the character assassination and smearing of a good man, who is no threat to America, but only to those who have no problem with the top one percent having total control of the American economy, as the middle class shrinks, and the “American Dream” is lost for future generations.

It is right wing hysteria, mixed in with Christian extremism, and anti Semitism and racism, that threatens Sanders, who would be the first Jewish Presidential nominee. were he to defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination.

Let us hope that whatever happens to the Sanders candidacy, that Bernie comes out of it hale and hearty, with a continued good public image, whether one supports him or not for the White House!

Crazy And Disturbing Revelations About Republican Presidential Contenders Donald Trump And Dr. Benjamin Carson Emerge

This Republican battle for the Presidency is bringing out crazy and disturbing revelations about the two front runners for the nomination, based on present public opinion polls.

Donald Trump said this weekend that his life was not and never has been easy, and having tried to compare himself to average Americans, then he revealed that he had to ask his father for a small amount loan (One Million Dollars) to start his career by purchasing a building in Brooklyn, New York, and imagine this, that he had to pay back the loan with interest!  This is a crazy, disturbing statement, and shows he has no clue as to what kind of life average middle class and poor people live!

But even more crazy and disturbing is the statement of Dr. Benjamin Carson, who is getting more weird by the day, and seems so low key that one wonders what kind of medication he is on, as he makes his constant references to slavery and Nazi Germany.  But he now has revealed that he had a troubled childhood, that  he nearly stabbed a friend at age 14 with a knife while living in Detroit with a single mother and in poverty, and often utilized rocks, bricks, hammers and baseball bats as he went through a violent, volatile stage of adolescence.

One might say, “he was a kid”, and is “not responsible for what he did”, but sorry, kids might act out in unusual ways as part of growing up, but it is never acceptable to use knives, rocks, bricks, hammers and baseball bats to get out one’s aggression and instability.  That is beyond the pale, not equivalent of harassing a fellow student, as Mitt Romney did; or shooting frogs for fun, as George W. Bush did; or having a sexual tryst with someone; or smoking marijuana, all examples of what adolescents often do.  But these things are not on the level of what Carson admits to doing, and while someone can, in theory, overcome such volatile behavior, one still has to wonder about his mental stability.

And his refusal to recognize what poverty does to people, as it did to him, and to take a hard line on dealing with the poor and disadvantaged, as he does, is a sign that his character has not recovered from his teenage volatile nature, because he has now succeeded in life, and has no concern about those who are left behind, and have not been as fortunate as he has.

Both Trump and Carson, just this weekend, have revealed elements that should make any sane person recognize that they are not equipped and appropriate to be our Commander in Chief.

Hopefully, the Republican Party will regain its sanity, and its voters will not  destroy the reputation of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and even Reagan!

Democratic Debate Demonstrates Competence, Statesmanship, And Class, Unlike Republican Debates!

The first Democratic debate last night demonstrated competence, statesmanship, and class, unlike the Republican debates.

Hillary Clinton won the debate without question, and reminded us of her ability, knowledge, expertise, and experience. sorely needed in the White House to follow Barack Obama.

Only Joe Biden might be a good alternative, but whether he will get into the race seems less likely, based on the debate results.

Having said that Hillary won the debate, it must be said that Bernie Sanders showed class in making clear that enough had been said about the Clinton Email controversy, and that it was time to focus on the major issues facing the country, and who was qualified to deal with those issues.

The Kevin McCarthy admission that the Benghazi committee had been formed to undermine Hillary, rather than any belief that anything wrong had been done by her, was the nail in the coffin of those who are out to undermine Hillary’s competence to be President.

Sanders may not have won the debate, but he did far better than most Republicans have in their debates.

And Martin O’Malley also performed well, but sadly is running at the wrong time and the wrong election.  He is well qualified but there is no easy way to overcome Hillary or possibly Joe Biden in this election round.

The Democrats’ top three showed why the Democrats offer a far better alternative for national leadership than the Republicans do, with their narrow minded and mean spirited attacks on immigrants, women, minorities, and the struggling middle class.  And the news that 15 million watched the debate is wonderful, although it does not match 20-25 million who watched the GOP debates.  But remember it is Donald Trump that caused such large audiences to watch in those two debates.

As long as the GOP allows its extreme elements to control events in Congress and in the Presidential race, they are doomed to ultimate defeat in November 2016!

The Modern Republican Myth About Ronald Reagan: He Could Not Be Nominated In 2016!

The modern Republican Party lives by a myth, a deification of the 40th President, Ronald Reagan.

Based on the mean spirit of the Republican Party today and their ignorance of history, Ronald Reagan could NOT be nominated for President in 2016.

Ronald Reagan signed abortion bills as California Governor.

Ronald Reagan had an “11th Commandment”, not attack fellow Republicans, and he was willing to work with a Congress controlled by the opposition Democrats.

Ronald Reagan raised taxes multiple times, in 1982, 1983, and 1986, and made it harder for middle class people, while benefiting the wealthy elite.

Ronald Reagan made a deal with Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill to save Social Security, not destroy it.

Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty for three million undocumented or illegal immigrants in 1986.

Ronald Reagan tripled the national debt from about $900 million to $2.6 trillion in his eight years in office.

Ronald Reagan increased the federal bureaucracy by 325,000 workers, after saying he would cut the work force.

Ronald Reagan gave in to terrorism by withdrawing troops from Lebanon after the Beirut bombing of the Marine barracks killed 241 Americans in 1983.

Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire”, and then negotiated arms agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Ronald Reagan worked with Saddam Hussein, and hailed the freedom fighters fighting Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, including a guerrilla fighter named Osama Bin Laden.

You can be sure that most Republican voters and most Republican officeholders either do not know the truth about Ronald Reagan, or do not care, but if Reagan was running for office now with these parts of his record in office, he could not be nominated!

 

 

Labor Day: A Day To Recall Labor Unions And What They Have Done For America’s Workers

Today is Labor Day, and it is too often a day ignored for its true meaning, the celebration of American workers and the labor unions which brought about the middle class in America, now under direct attack and threat.

It was the hard work of labor unions and workers that brought about the reforms we accept as normal today, including wages and hours laws, the minimum wage, the end of child labor, promotion of equal pay for equal work, occupational safety laws, and the expansion of basic worker benefits, such as health care, sick leave, vacation time, and pension benefits for millions.

But in the age of corporate greed and concentration, the second Gilded Age that we are in since the Ronald Reagan Presidency, we have seen the rapid decline of labor rights and of union power, and many ignorant Americans actually believe somehow that this is all to the good.  People applaud the anti union record of the Republican Party, which has been consistent for a century, and some think the war on public union rights by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is to be applauded, when it is an outrage!

Many people do not seem to realize that their basic worker rights have been curbed dramatically, and then wonder what can be done about it, and the answer is to work to promote union rights, and stop seeing unions as somehow a negative, simply because of some examples in the past of union corruption.

Yes, there have been union violations at times, but nowhere near the corporate violations of the public trust, and the way to expand labor rights is to support union expansion to combat the power of the corporations that have too much power over the American economy!