National Security

Massive Cuts In State Department, Transportation Security Administration, Environmental Protection Agency Proposed

The Trump Administration is calling for massive cuts in the budgets of the State Department, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others government departments.

To cut the State Department when our foreign relations are in such flux makes no sense, and endangers our national security.

To cut the TSA, when the emphasis has been on trying to prevent terrorism in our airports and on our airlines, seems totally suicidal, particularly for an administration emphasizing the issue by having a travel ban on six Muslim nations.

To cut the EPA endangers cleanup of our air and water, and undermines our ability to deal with the reality of climate change and global warming.

It all seems to be part of White House Adviser Stephen Bannon’s desire “to deconstruct the administrative state”, all of the government agencies and programs created since the time of Theodore Roosevelt through the Presidency of Barack Obama.

To many, it would seem to be promoting total chaos and anarchy in a dangerous world.

25 Days, And Major Scandal Which Brings Likely End Of Trump Presidency, And Mike Pence As 46th President Of The United States!

Only 25 days into the Trump Presidency, and already a scandal, and it is looking as if Donald Trump will be gone before the 199 days of James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881.

That would mean by August 7 that Trump will have left the White House.

It is six days until February 20, one month in office, the length of time of William Henry Harrison in the Presidency, before he died of pneumonia in 1841.

The Michael Flynn resignation as National Security Adviser puts Trump on the spot, as his “bromance” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with that of Flynn, endangers the national security interests of the United States.

Trump could be considered a traitor to the United States by many, and it seems very likely a move toward impeachment is likely in the short run.

It is also interesting that Vice President Mike Pence seems to have been the one to assert himself, and help to force Flynn out, so that is also a sign that Pence may be moving toward a possible challenge to his boss, which can be promoted by the 25th Amendment, Section 4, which I wrote about last month (January 22) on History News Network, with the article found on the right side of my blog.

One can now expect Mike Pence to be our 46th President of the United States before 2017 is over!

The War Against Latino And Other Immigrants And Latino American Citizens Begins, Including Crisis With Mexico Over Proposed Wall

The war against Latino immigrants and Latino American citizens has begun, less than one week after Donald Trump took the oath of office.

We will see victimization of people from not only Mexico, but also Central America, South America, Caribbean Islands, and also from the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, India, Pakistan, China, Japan, and other Asian nations, as well as Muslim nations all over the world.

Racism and nativism is in full swing, and the lady on the Statue of Liberty near Ellis Island is weeping, as we have now seen the worst attack on immigration and minorities from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East that we have had in our lifetime, except for those who were alive and remember the terrible victimization of Japanese American citizens and Japanese immigrants 75 years ago after Pearl Harbor, with 120,000 interned in camps.

Not only will the government now seemingly deport more immigrants and break up more families, but one can be sure that there are plans to intern Muslim Americans when and if a few Muslim terrorists strike in America.

Civil liberties, Civil Rights, and liberty and justice are being ignored as the Trump Fascist era begins, and the question is how to bring it to an end as soon as possible, since the possibility of a dictatorship and martial law is not something we can be assured will not happen at this delicate time.

And expect a possible low level war situation at the 2,000 mile long Mexico-US border, with the plan moving ahead to build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it, which the President of Mexico declared would not occur, leading to the cancellation of a meeting at the White House. Tension will certainly rise, and we are in the worst relationship since the 1920s with our neighbor to the south.

We do not need a new foreign policy and national security headache, but Donald Trump is insuring it with his reckless and dangerous decisions.

The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!

The Republican Party, Donald Trump, And Russia: Ronald Reagan Is Turning Over In His Grave!

The Republican Party is now faced with an incoming President who is cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and whose National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, are also too close to the Russian dictator.

To have much of the Republican Party willing to accept this without complaint is an outrage, and a danger to national security.

Thank goodness for such Republicans as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio for making clear they plan to put the feet of Rex Tillerson to the fire, and somehow, Michael Flynn, who also believes in conspiracy theories, but does not require Senate confirmation, must be prevented from serving Donald Trump in the White House, where his deleterious impact could be of great harm, outweighing that of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Ronald Reagan would be turning over in his grave, as Barack Obama said, if he knew what has happened, and so would Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and other dead Republicans, who made their careers on anti Soviet stands in the Cold War, including 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.

Yes, the Cold War is supposedly over, and Communism is gone, but is this true? Putin, after all, was part of the Soviet KGB Secret Police, and has blood on his hands, and has gained possibly the largest personal fortune of any human being on earth

We must deal with Russia, but to be naive about it, and give in to flattery, as Donald Trump has done and is doing, is alarming and dangerous to the national security of this nation.

Imagine the infamous Joseph McCarthy, the Red Scare villain of the 1950s, and how he would react to the craziness and lunacy of American foreign policy under a reckless, dangerous, unhinged Donald Trump!

Republican Split Begins, As Several US Senators Indicate They Are Ready To Fight Trump Cabinet Appointments

It is now clear that Donald Trump will NOT work to avoid Republican party splits, but instead will do everything he can to stir division within the party, and within America, as shown with his horrendous Cabinet appointments.

Democrats MUST fight tooth and nail against many of the Cabinet appointments, including the nominees for Attorney General (Jeff Sessions); Health and Human Services (Tom Price); Labor (Andrew Puzder); Education (Betsy DeVos); and Environmental Protection Agency (Scott Pruitt).

But there are Republicans unhappy over issues of foreign policy, including close association between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson: and the proposed nomination of John Bolton to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite his continued belief that the Iraq War was justified, and the opposition of many top Republicans who despise the former United Nations Ambassador by recess appointment under George W. Bush, who could not be confirmed by the US Senate.

Republican Senators, including Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins, and possibly others, could prevent some of these appointees in committee or on the floor, and in league with Democrats, create more Cabinet turmoil and rejections than any modern President, reminding us of the battles some earlier Presidents, including John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, had with Congress over their choices for the Cabinet and the courts.

Also, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are calling for a full investigation of Russian hacking of the Democratic Party campaign in the recent election, and many are alarmed by Donald Trump seemingly cozying up to Putin, and Trump’s denial that he believes the evidence of such hacking as concluded by the Central Intelligence Agency, undermining respect and support of the President Elect for the intelligence agencies. And Trump’s refusal to get intelligence briefings regularly and to show mistrust of the Intelligence community, which is so important for the national security of the nation, is very worrisome and alarms many in his own party, as well as the nation at large.

The Cycle Theory Of American History Again In Play

The 2016 Presidential election magnified the significance of rural and working class whites, as they decided the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The number of such people is constantly declining as a portion of the population, so the 2016 election is a last hurrah for these groups, as the growing number of people of Latino and Asian heritage will have a great effect on future Presidential elections, as more millennials become of age and are registered to vote.

This right wing tilt is going to have the ability to do great damage to the liberal-progressive tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama in the short term future, but in the middle of the next decade at the latest, the political scene is likely to transform dramatically.

In a way, it is part of the Cycle theory of American history, where a period of reform is followed by a period of reaction, with such reform periods lasting 4-6 years, as with Woodrow Wilson and the New Freedom and New Nationalism, ended by World War I; Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, ended by World War II; Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society, ended by the Vietnam War; and Barack Obama and his reforms, ended by the War on Terrorism, which had a lot to do with Donald Trump’s victory. When we are engaged in concern about foreign policy and national security, it always dampens desire for reform among the people of the United States, who tend to react to fear.

The Donald Trump Connection To Authoritarian Leadership

It is very disturbing that Donald Trump has a connection to, and admiration for, authoritarian leadership.

Trump’s Russian connections are very troubling, and his lying about his past connections and relationship to Vladimir Putin are alarming.

The fact that Trump has suggested strongly that NATO needs to be reconsidered as part of American foreign policy, and his threat to stand aside if Putin were to try to seize the Baltic States–Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia–is an opening for Putin to take action, threatening the stability of the entire European continent.

The reality that Trump has his top aide, Paul Mantafort, having had connections to a pro Russian government in Ukraine, is horrifying. Trump has said that Russia does not control the Crimean area, which is delusional.

And Trump has also praised Kim Jong Un, the maniac who runs North Korea and has threatened nuclear attack against its neighbors and the United States.

It is clear that Trump is ignorant of the effect of his statements on national security and relations with our allies.

Were he elected President, the whole world would be harmed by his reckless speech and actions.

The Next 100 Days: The Most Crucial Since 1932

We are today 100 days away from the Presidential Election of 2016.

This is the most crucial election in 84 years, since 1932, at the worst moments of the Great Depression, when the nation seemed to be disintegrating, and Franklin D. Roosevelt saved us from worse, as Herbert Hoover had shown he had no ability to deal with the crisis.

Today, we face the dire threat of a Fascist oriented demagogue on the level of George Wallace, but with a real chance to win, if the collective American nation allows ignorance, prejudice, and fear to overtake us, as it threatened in 1932.

A Donald Trump Presidency is not just an undesired development, but rather a constitutional crisis in the making, as he has the potential to do irreparable harm in so many ways, in both domestic and foreign policy.

The Presidency is supposed to promote domestic tranquility, which Trump threatens to destroy by his Muslim ban and his Mexico Wall.

The Presidency is supposed to guarantee stability in security and in foreign relations, and Trump flirts with Vladimir Putin, and undermines NATO and alienates much of the world.

The man is the greatest danger to the Presidency, more than Richard Nixon, improving his status by so doing, because as terrible as Nixon was, he had virtues, while Trump has absolutely none.

Were he to be elected, much of the intelligence and military community leaders would refuse to work with him, concerned about his recklessness and mental instability.

Democracy could lead to chaos, anarchy, and a threat to the civil liberties and civil rights of all of us.

So all decent people must dedicate themselves to organizing and promoting Americans to get out there and vote, in order to prevent a catastrophe, the rise of an American authoritarian figure which would threaten us like nothing since the Great Depression, and before that, the Civil War.

A Donald Trump Victory’s Effect On Civility and Manners In American Society, Including Its Schoolyards: The Promotion Of Bullying!

Donald Trump is such a destructive force in so many ways!

One of the worst aspects of the Trump success so far is its effect on civility and manners in American society, including its schoolyards.

Young people are seeing a candidate who uses foul language, and who says whatever comes to his mind without any filter, utilizing insults, and employing racism, nativism, xenophobia, and misogyny.

Trump makes bullying and narcissism and egotism seem normal and acceptable.

Rudeness and lack of consideration of the effect of language on others has become a norm.

The effect on young males of school age and even in colleges is to show less respect for others who are different than them in their race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

Why should young men and boys have respect for girls and women when Donald Trump does not?

Why should bullies in school yards stop their harassing of others when Donald Trump is the champion bully?

The Trump effect will be to create new social problems for parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, and society in general, as boys and young men with heightened testosterone will have license to say and do whatever they wish, as, after all, Donald Trump has been accepted as the Republican Presidential nominee by hateful, ignorant, poorly educated people who represent the worst elements of American society.

God forbid that Donald Trump becomes President, as the cancer he represents will permeate American society and undermine American internal domestic security, as well as national security in dealing with the outside world.

We will have to worry that we will alienate our friends in the world; encourage military confrontations and war with our enemies; and face the likelihood of growing tensions and possible warfare at the US Mexico border of 1,989 miles!

Most certainly, we do not need problems with our neighbors, as we already have enough challenges with other nations around the world!