Poor People

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!

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!

Sixth Anniversary Of ObamaCare, The Third Great Social And Economic Reform, Alongside Social Security And Medicare!

It was six years ago on March 23, 2010, that the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, was signed into law by President Obama, after a year long fight, with only three Republican Senators early on giving any support, and no House members.

The fact that ObamaCare was just like the Heritage Foundation–Newt Gingrich–Bob Dole program of 1993, designed as an alternative to HillaryCare, was ignored.

Also, the fact that Mitt Romney accomplished much the same thing in Massachusetts as RomneyCare was denied, even by Romney himself when he ran for President in 2012!

The hypocrisy and pure obstructionism of Republicans and conservatives was so obvious, and is obvious, to anyone who looks at the subject dispassionately!

Today, six years later, ObamaCare, while having its definite quirks and shortcomings, is a success, in the sense that it covers 20 million people who did not have health care before; has lowered the uninsured from 14 percent to 9 percent of the population; and has saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives of people who, without coverage, would have died in the past six years!

This is the ultimate Pro Life movement, the acceptance of the idea that ALL Americans should be entitled to health care as a basic human right, especially considering that every other modern industrial nation in Europe, along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand have it, and all of them way ahead of us!

So this is a time to salute Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, for having accomplished one of the three greatest economic and social reforms of the past century, alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt and Social Security (now 81 years old), and Lyndon B. Johnson and Medicare (now 51 years old)!

Try to imagine America in 2016 without Social Security and Medicare, and yet, if left up to the right wing Republican Party, they would not only repeal ObamaCare without any replacement for the 20 million Americans who have gained health care coverage, but also would repeal both Social Security and Medicare, “privatizing” both of them, and giving useless “vouchers” to millions of elderly, poor, and disabled people!

This is why the Republican Party, as it now is constituted, is doomed to be in the dustbin of history!

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!

The Likely “Best” Choice For The Republican Ticket In 2016: John Kasich And Marco Rubio

The first Republican debate is long over, and Donald Trump is monopolizing all of the oxygen in the room, but he is a calamity waiting to happen to the Republican Party.

It is clear already that the best ticket the GOP could offer the American people, in November 2016, would be to nominate Ohio Governor John Kasich for President and Florida Senator Marco Rubio for Vice President.

This would offer the American people a 64 year old Congressional veteran, with 18 years in the House of Representatives and 6 years as Ohio Governor—a man who is a clear cut conservative but centrist in nature, accepting Medicaid; accepting gay marriage as established and tolerant of gays and lesbians; having an element of compassion toward the poor working class, drug offenders, and mentally ill people; great experience in balancing budgets as head of the House Budget Committee; great communications ability, including six years as a talk show host on Fox News Channel; a very popular Governor of the crucial state for any Republican to win the White House; who has accepted that climate change exists; has supported gun regulation in the past; has supported criminal justice reform; is open minded on illegal immigration and eventual citizenship; and has an enlightened view of Christianity and its doctrines, so that recently he has been called a Pope Francis type personality.

However, others have said that Kasich has a “prickly” personality; that he has a “hair trigger” temper; that he is condescending, arrogant, and manipulative, which is, of course, quite disturbing. It also has been pointed out that he has weakened labor unions in Ohio, and has undermined public education in Ohio, in favor of charter schools. So, as with any candidate, he has definite shortcomings, but there is also the reality that, in comparison to his rivals, he stands out as having more potential as a candidate, and to have some, if not all, of the proper character traits, with no one having all, unfortunately.

So it is clear that Kasich is not preferable to a Democratic nominee, any of them in reality, but he comes across as the best person in the race on the Republican side at this writing.

At the same time, Marco Rubio, at age 45 in 2016, might be the best choice for Vice President. He has charisma; good looks; is Hispanic (Cuban American); represents another swing state like Ohio is, but Florida is the largest state to be a swing state; and while he is much more conservative than Kasich, he has potential for growth and maturity in his views over time. Rubio would not be thrilled to be Vice President, but it is a stepping stone to the Presidency when he is older and more seasoned. Besides, he has given up his chance to hold his Senate seat, so it would be more enticing for him to accept the Vice Presidency if he fails to win the Presidential nomination of his party.

This would be a team that would easily give the Republican Party their best shot at winning, but if they do not appeal to women, African Americans, Hispanics, the young, and to working class Americans, they have no chance of winning, so they need to moderate their image.

This team of Kasich and Rubio could accomplish what no other combination would be able to do–win the White House for the Republicans!  Having said that, the odds for the Democrats to keep the White House are excellent, and if Trump runs as an independent or third party candidate, it is guaranteed that the Democrats will win, and likely be certain to regain the Senate, and possibly,. even the House of Representative!

The CINOs: Christians In Name Only! Claim To Follow Jesus, But Do Just The Opposite!

Christianity was created out of belief in the connection of Jesus Christ to God, and the dogma that he was crucified on a cross by the Romans in the Holy Land, and rose from the dead three days after a torturous death, and took upon himself the sins of mankind. If one followed the teachings of Jesus, he or she would have the opportunity for salvation in Heaven after death.

The Catholic Church developed, with the concept of a Pope as the spokesman for Jesus Christ on Earth. But soon there were schisms in the Church, leading to the Eastern Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire in the fifth century AD, and then the revolt in the West, led by Martin Luther in Germany; John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland; and King Henry VIII in England in the 16th century to begin with, and then many other Christian sects developed around the world and in America, including a home grown branch of Christianity in the Mormon Church in the early 19th century.

Persecution, warfare, and destruction developed as each sect of Christianity demonstrated a belief that their version was the correct Christianity. Antisemitism, against the religion that Jesus had been in life, also raged throughout the past two millenniums. Promoting the faith became a mission to convert at the barrel of a gun, as people used the faith to conquer Latin America, Asia, and Africa for the Caucasians of Europe, and also included the promotion of the mass extermination of Native Americans in the Americas and aborigines in Australia and elsewhere. Slavery evolved, and when it ended in America in the 19th century, racial segregation and lynching was justified due to the belief in white supremacy.

In America, not only antisemitism developed, but also anti Catholic prejudice, and the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups, who claimed to be following Christianity’s tenets. Also, evangelical Christianity formed, claiming that it was women’s role to serve men; that race and nationality were factors in judging who was superior to others; and promotion of homophobia, nativism, racism, misogyny and belief in guns being connected to the faith’s practice. They claimed moral superiority, while condemning organized labor and advocating destruction of the environment in the name of unbridled capitalism.

These distortions of Christianity also included denouncing the poor; a hatred of national government which evolved to deal with the inequities in society that allowed a small percentage of men to control and dominate within the economy and society; and wanting to impose their social views on everyone, by claiming that they were being persecuted, a “Victims” complex.

Today in America, it is this element of Christianity which defies the generous, compassionate, and kind mission of Jesus Christ, and instead promotes a very negative and hateful vision of what Jesus intended.

This group of people, very close minded and intolerant, could rightfully be called CINOs–Christians In Name Only—and must be resisted at every turn as the only way to promote progress and democratic values which Jesus believed in during his lifetime. They claim moral superiority, which could not be further from the truth. He would be shocked at the distortion of his message by those who claim to follow him, but most certainly do NOT!

Barack Obama After Six Years In The Presidency: On Way To Top Ten Of Our 43 Presidents!

As 2014 ends, Barack Obama is finishing his sixth year in the Presidency, and will officially mark that milestone on January 20, when he delivers the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, controlled by the Republican Party, which has stood in his way, has been a constant barrier to anything Obama proposes, and hates the ground he walks on. Conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, and conservative think tanks, would not be happy no matter what Barack Obama does or says. And there is a strong level of venal hate, very dangerous, that puts the President in the cross hairs of a potential threat to his life on a daily basis.

But despite all that, President Barack Obama has a record in office to be proud of, not perfect in any sense, but still outstanding enough to have a chance to end up in the top ten of our Presidents, if not immediately after leaving the White House, over a generation or more as time passes, and passions calm down, and particularly after Obama has passed away, an opportune time to reconsider the legacy of any President, particularly one so much maligned in his time!

The list of Obama accomplishments is endless, but key points include:

The adoption of ObamaCare, which will be seen as transformative over time, as much as Social Security and Medicare.

The successful tracking down and elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of September 11, 2001.

The ending of US military engagement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars that were unwise to conduct in the first place.

The revival of the American economy, with 11 million jobs created; the unemployment rate below six percent; the greatest economic expansion since the Bill Clinton Presidency; the smallest increase in the deficit for the past decade; the 150 percent increase in the stock market; the lowest gas prices in five years; and the revival of the domestic auto industry.

The appointment of two Supreme Court Justices–Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and some exceptional cabinet appointments, plus the best Vice President in American history, Joe Biden.

The promotion of gay rights and gay marriage, insuring the end of discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

The advancement of environmental concerns, including dealing with global warming and climate change.

The promotion of a tolerant attitude toward immigration reform.

The establishment of a new relationship with Cuba after 50 years of a failed policy.

The promotion of labor rights in a time when labor has been under attack.

The protection of women’s rights against right wing attempts to undermine the advancement of women in all spheres of American life.

The avoidance of engagement in new wars, which the right wing is always itching for.

The courage of Obama to go after terrorists in a way that limits US military involvement, but effectively has killed more terrorists than George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama was the the right person for his time, and will be seen as that in history. He has met racist attacks by refusing to show anger, but instead class and dignity! He has admitted failure, but also has confidence in the morality of his cause. Considering the extreme opposition he has faced, what he has accomplished is miraculous beyond belief.

Despite having presided over the rapid decline of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress by vicious attacks and massive spending by right wing billionaires, he has made it clear that he will use executive orders to do what he feels must be done in the last two years of his Presidency. The right wing Supreme Court, with its Citizens United Case in 2010, and the lackadaisical attitude on voting of many Democratic constituent groups, has contributed to this decline in Democratic Party strength, but Obama has reacted by making clear that it will not deter his plans to make the nation a place better for the middle class and the poor.

President Barack Obama will NOT allow the prevention of further improvement of the New Deal and Great Society, and he is much to be admired, as a credit to the office he holds!

Outrageous Arrogance And Corruption By Many Governors In America, Including Sam Brownback, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie!

We often hear about accusations that Barack Obama has abused his powers, which is far from reality!

Meanwhile, we have outrageous, arrogant, and corrupt governors of many states who do not care about their poorer and disabled citizens, and are willing to deny Medicaid expansion or accept ObamaCare, with the most despicable of all being Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a supposedly very “religious” man, and a “good Christian”, who has privatized Medicaid, and is now, after bankrupting the state budget by giving the wealthy and corporations massive tax cuts, forcing disabled people off Medicaid, which will cause the death of many of them over time!

This is a man who professes to be “pro life”, while willing to deny poor children and the disabled of all ages basic medical care! How is that being “pro life”, or is that just insuring every fetus is born, and then to hell with what happens after birth?

At the same time, it is shocking to see New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie join together and defy the unanimous vote of both state legislatures, to bring about reform of the Port Authority, which has been subject to politics and corruption for years, but with both governors vetoing legislation to promote reform, and their veto cannot be overridden, as a President’s veto can be by Congress!

What are Cuomo and Christie, both interested in running for President, thinking? They are coming across as totally corrupt and arrogant, which was already the image of Christie, but now Cuomo has also come across as no different than Christie! He is not the match of his dad, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo!

These are two powerful men, who won easy reelection, as Sam Brownback did in Kansas! What were their constituents thinking? Are the people of Kansas, New York, and New Jersey, and many other states with corrupt, arrogant, uncaring Governors, that ignorant, that stupid, that unconcerned, that they manage to encourage continued abuse of power by Governors, who want us to think that state governments are better than the national government?

It is Sam Brownback, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, and numerous other Governors who are truly abusing power, not our principled President, who has accomplished so much in his first six years in office, which this author will delineate tomorrow, the last day of 2014!

Georgia Congressman John Lewis, “Selma” Film, And The Effect Of The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama!

The new documentary, SELMA, about the March from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, leading to “Bloody Sunday”, where state troopers and snipers fired on peaceful marchers demanding their right to vote, reminds us of a transitional stage in American history, when African Americans would regain the right to vote given to them in the 15th Amendment in 1870, and then denied in the South for about 75 years!

Alabama Governor George Wallace represented the worst of Southern racism, and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a true hero then and now, had his head beaten and bloodied n the Selma March, but the horrible event led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965!

It is tragic that the Supreme Court allowed a reversion in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act two years ago, and that has led to new movements, and not only in the South, to make it harder for African Americans, Latinos, women, poor people, and college students to vote, and that could affect the Midterm elections of 2014!

But Lewis made the comment which is so TRUE: If it had not been for Voting Rights Act coming out of the Selma March, there likely would NEVER have been an open minded progressive Presidency of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

That would have been a tremendous tragedy, as no Republican President , whether Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, or George W. Bush, made civil rights enforcement a key goal of their times in the Presidency!

So thank goodness for the fortune that the sacrifices of the Selma Marchers brought us the great progress  we gained under Carter, Clinton, and now Obama!