Poverty

Joe Biden Explains The Absolute Truth About The Now Ended Afghanistan War!

President Joe Biden, a very decent, humane, empathetic, compassionate man, told us yesterday in his speech to the nation the absolute truth about the end of the Afghanistan War, our longest war at 20 years.

Biden made clear we had lost 2,461 men and women, including 13 last Thursday; 20,561 wounded with many still disabled by physical injuries, and untold others by emotional and mental injuries; and had spent $2.3 trillion over 20 years, about $300 million for every day of the past 7,300 days since the war began. Also, 18 veterans a day on the average commit suicide, many of them due to their involvement in Afghanistan, or the even more heinous Iraq War!

We had two generations killed and wounded, and the money spent on the war could have been utilized to deal with poverty, discrimination, health care, education, infrastructure, the environment, and so much else.

So we need to spend $700 billion a year on defense spending?

Do we need to spend on all kinds of weapons that enrich politicians through bribes paid to promote production of them as part of the defense budget annually?

Do we need to have more than 800 military and naval bases in dozens of nations around the world, and lots of corruption going on in the process?

And of course, many wealthy industrialists and others became super wealthy and benefited financially from the war, most noticeably former Vice President Dick Cheney, who had connections with the corrupt organization, Halliburton, so no wonder that his daughter, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, would be super critical of the war that benefits her and her family members. And these are people who resist the thought of any payment of taxes personally or through their corporations, despite the massive tax cuts under George W. Bush and Donald Trump!

Joe Biden Perceived By Many Observers As Potentially Transformational, As Was FDR And LBJ

It may be hype, but many political observers, impressed with President Joe Biden’s fast start in his first 50 days, are speculating that the 46th President could be a transformational President, in the mold of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

One such viewpoint is expressed by NY Times Columnist David Brooks, who is a conservative, but sees elements in Joe Biden to unite the nation, as has occurred with the just signed COVID 19 $1.9 Trillion legislation today, which is seen as a law that will have a great effect on taking many people, including children, out of poverty, along with essential aid to small businesses, state and local governments, and the rapid availability, now said to be on May 1, of COVID 19 vaccine for all adults.

Joe Biden has surprised many in his ability to draw Republican registered voters to be totally supportive of assistance this legislation provides, even as Republicans in Congress refused to support the legislation, but are already claiming credit for some of the programs and aid being distributed rapidly, starting this weekend.

There certainly is great optimism, on this anniversary of the declaration of the COVID 19 Pandemic a year ago today, after the horrible loss of 525,000 Americans, the greatest loss in one year in American history!

Poorest States Never Get The Message, Still Vote Republican Despite Lack Of Action On Poverty

The ten poorest states in America are all in the South and Border South, with the one exception of New Mexico, which is the only one of those ten states which votes Democratic.

Despite their poverty, with large numbers of poor whites, these states continue to vote Republican, and have among the most incompetent and uncaring state governments and political leaders.

Why these states’ voters do not get the message that voting Republican insures no action is taken on their poverty situations is clearly due to their lack of education and awareness of reality.

These ten states, in order of poverty are:

Mississippi
New Mexico
Louisiana
West Virginia
Alabama
Kentucky
South Carolina
Arkansas
Tennessee
North Carolina

Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in the 1960s was a beginning, but not followed through on under later Republican Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump in particular.

When Democrats Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama attempted to move forward, Republican intransigence prevented much progress, and this issue remains one that needs to be addressed by Joe Biden, although with the Republicans potentially controlling the Senate, and with a smaller Democratic margin in the House of Representatives, it will be very difficult to do so.

America On The Verge Of A Second “Great Depression”, All Caused By Donald Trump’s Ignorance, Stupidity, And Corruption!

It is hard to believe, but America is on the verge of a Second “Great Depression”, all caused by Donald Trump’s ignorance and stupidity!

America had 123 million population in 1930, as the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover began.

Now in 2020, it is 330 million, so more than 200 million people higher, about 270 percent higher.

This coming Great Depression is likely to last as long as the first Great Depression, a decade or more, as even the Great Recession of 2008 continued to reverberate for at least another five years after that.

We already have poverty and deprivation much too prevalent BEFORE this event, and now it will get much worse!

The possibility of widespread violence and bloodshed, in a population much more diverse than it was in 1930, and with the much greater prevalence of firearms, at least equal to the population numbers, is a totally terrifying prospect!

And to learn that the wealthy want ever more tax cuts, as their greed and selfishness continues to grow, is totally outrageous. They need to give up much of the Trump, Bush II, and Reagan tax cuts they gained undeservedly in the past four decades, while the middle class deteriorated, and the the number of poor, homeless, and hungry people escalated!

The stupidity and bias of millions of Americans who thought Donald Trump was a savior, and the involvement of Fox News Channel, Conservative Talk Radio, and the Evangelical Christian right pastors and ministers in backing the corruption and venality of Donald Trump is infuriating! His corrupt collaborators in Congress and the judiciary is also a total repudiation of the American people and their welfare!

There has to be a place in Hell for all of these perpetrators who have no ethics, morals, conscience, or scruples!

The Survival Of America As We Know It Depends On A Massive “Blue Wave” This November!

Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet, in informing Congressional Republicans that they should abandon any legislation on immigration until after the “Red Wave” he predicts is coming in the midterm elections of 2018 this November.

God forbid any such “Red Wave”, which would defy history, as the record shows the party in the White House always loses seats in the first midterm election after a President has been inaugurated, with the one major exception being FDR and the Democrats in 1934, but Donald Trump is no FDR!

If people stay home and do not vote, or if people continue to believe the lies of Donald Trump and the Republicans, then we as a nation, not those of us who care, but everyone else, will get what they deserve–a return to the 19th century Gilded Age before federal government played a role in the lives of the American people.

It will mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor laws, environmental legislation, consumer protections. civil rights for minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, and the loss of the Bill of Rights.

We will live in a nation controlled by the super wealthy in every sense, and we will be influenced by autocrats in Russia and other totalitarian dictatorships, and we will be threatened by the loss of our traditional foreign allies, and we will face dire poverty after a Great Depression that would make the 1930s depression look like a minor event.

Some reading this might think I am using hyperbole, but seriously, even if one thinks they have heard this before, the reality is as follows: There is no more crucial election for the long term future of our nation than this midterm election.

The Democrats are far from perfect but even many conservative commentators, such as Jennifer Rubin, George Will, David Frum, Bret Stephens, Steve Schmidt, among others, have repudiated the Republican Party and Donald Trump, and warn us of the need to kick the Republicans out of control of both houses of Congress, and many state governorships and legislatures.

Donald Trump is the most dangerous person in American history, and the process to start taking away his destructive influence is NOT to say it is hopeless, and why bother voting?

It is, rather, that if we do not fight for our future, then there is no future!

Donald Trump, Fox News Channel, The Evangelical Right, And The “Caravan”

For nearly three years, since Donald Trump announced his Presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015, he has, every day, demeaned himself by his utterances and actions, more every day.

So has Fox News Channel, becoming a propaganda machine for Donald Trump.

And so has the Evangelical Right, which has demonstrated how much they can distort and manipulate the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hypocrisy and corruption and a mean spirit has dominated, but now, hard to believe, these three forces have joined together to lower themselves to an even more disgraceful level.

They have promoted the myth of a “caravan” of about 1200 people who are migrating through Mexico, and it is alleged, are about to “invade” the United States with their evil intent, consisting of intentions of rape, murder, and terrorism.

Who makes up this caravan, in reality?

Large number of young children, their mothers, many elderly people make up the bulk of the group, and they are poor and deprived, escaping violence, bloodshed, and fear for their own safety, wanting a better life!

This is often, historically, the reality of immigrants throughout American history, and also, world history, people who are striving for opportunity, a new life, and to avoid death.

How could ANYONE be against such people, who have done nothing wrong, except to be born and living in nations that are death traps for so many, with so much human suffering, that they wish to find “a promised land”?

This is the story of the Jewish people escaping Egypt; the story of Irish and Italians and Jews and Polish and other parts of Europe escaping to America; of Muslims escaping bloodshed and persecution in the Middle East and Africa in coming to Europe in recent years; of people in Central America migrating northward; and of the constant quest for freedom and opportunity and a chance to live, throughout the history of the world!

This is the “American Dream”, how the ancestors of Donald Trump came to our shores; how the ancestors of Joseph P. Kennedy came to our shores; how the ancestors of all of us came to our shores! America is the nation of all nations!

But now we have a President, a news channel, and a religious group who are rejecting the basic tenets of organized religion, and particularly of Christianity, totally rejecting common decency, common humanity, common compassion, for those who are poor, deprived, and facing persecution and death!

The so called Pro Life movement is a farce, and Fox News has no morals or ethics, and Donald Trump is a disgrace to the Presidency and to human behavior, willing to lie and distort for his own advancement. He has no concern for the American people, and has shown he has no consideration about the damage he is doing daily.

It cannot be too soon to see this cancer excised from the Oval Office!

50 Years Since MLK Assassination, And In Many Ways, Not Much Progress In Race Relations In America

It has been 50 years since the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

His death ended the most active and accomplished period of the civil rights movement, which occurred during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

No one ever came forth with the charisma and following of Dr. King, to succeed him.

As we look back a half century, we can say that the African American community saw great advances in education and attainment of the middle class by a growing percentage of their population.

We also saw political gains by the African American community, including what many thought was the most triumphant moment of all–the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

But looking back now, one can say that the Obama election brought the truth out of the ugly woodwork–that racism is still very much alive and thriving, and not just in the South, but nationwide.

We see young and middle age African American boys and men, in particular, being victimized by police across the nation at alarming rates, and a large percentage who are not killed being subjected to unequal justice and long periods in prison.

The violence in the cities is over the top, and yet nothing has been done to overcome the danger of growing up in an environment where those who just wish to advance themselves out of poverty are often the victims of people of the same color.

The dream of Dr. King that everyone would be judged by the content of their character, rather than their skin color, has not been fulfilled, and we have a long road toward true racial equality in all areas of life, including economic advancement, which was badly damaged by the Great Recession, more for African Americans than for the working class whites, who are still appealed to by right wingers and Donald Trump to see African Americans as the enemy.

Three Profiles In Courage: John McCain Of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski Of Alaska, Susan Collins Of Maine

It is appropriate to salute three Republican Senators who stopped the destruction of ObamaCare, due to their feeling that despite the shortcomings of the program, that to just repeal it and leave millions of Americans with no health coverage was intolerable.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, a true independent and maverick, has often exasperated many political observers, and this blogger was upset earlier last week when McCain voted to promote votes on various alternatives, including repeal without replacement, but then voted to kill the idea once there was the opportunity to do so.

We now learn that former Vice President Joe Biden, a good friend, and former Senator Joe Lieberman, the Vice Presidential running mate of Al Gore in 2000, contacted McCain and convinced him that this was the right thing to do.

This kind of bipartisanship is precisely what is needed, and is missing from today’s political scence.

The courage of the two women Senators, who could not have alone stopped the Republican plan to destroy ObamaCare, must also be acknowledged, and sadly, some misogyny was utilized against them by the right wing, but Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska showed how principled and decent they were, and deserve great credit.

Both Collins and Murkowksi are tough, and they are not intimidated, with Collins having always been independent oriented, and Murkowski losing the party primary in 2010, running as a write in Independent candidate, and winning over her Republican and Democratic opponents, and then winning in 2016.

The outrage that the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, at Donald Trump’s orders, threatened Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, the other Alaska Senator, with cuts in funding for Alaska in the Department budget did not intimidate Murkowski, as she postponed committee hearings and votes in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she heads. She knows how to play Hardball, and Trump has met his match in her, as well as Collins.

Disappointing, however, was the third woman Senator thought united with them, Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, but caving in to pressure from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, quite shocking since West Virginia has more people on Medicaid and in poverty than almost all states in America.

The 4th Of July In The Trump Era: America Has Lost Its Way!

Today is the 241st anniversary of Independence Day, declared in 1776.

America was a great experiment in being a republic, and over the nearly two and a half centuries since, America ended slavery; opened its arms to scores of immigrants from all over the world; expanded the right to vote to all citizens over time, no matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender they were; promoted a social safety net; and expanded public education to all.

The Constitution was expanded to face modern realities; and both major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, contributed to the advancement of tolerance and justice and equal opportunity; and the Supreme Court became a body that dealt with expansion of civil liberties and civil rights.

There were many detours along the road to today, but overall, progress was made, and a sense of optimism reigned.

And then, September 11 occurred, and the nation’s politics veered from one viewpoint to another and then to what is now present, a dark view of our nation, its people, and the world.

We live in the Trump era, which is in process of delaying, deleting, and destroying so much progress that has been accomplished in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

We are seeing race, religion, ethnicity and gender being used in an abusive manner to take away basic civil liberties, civil rights, common decency, and a sense of civility.

We are seeing the wealthy becoming the most stratified group in American history, and the middle class, created in the 20th century, destroyed, and the poor being treated in a shabby fashion.

One political party, the Republicans, has become the party of negativism, hatred, prejudice, and pure nastiness, and we have seen the shift of the Supreme Court toward a hard right conservatism that brings back memories of the Gilded Age Supreme Court.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and have reverted to 140 years ago!

So while we celebrate our national holiday, we have a lot to mourn, and it MUST make all of us determined to fight and resist with all our abilities combined, to resolve this crisis in a constitutional manner, with the removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, as a tyrant and authoritarian figure who has met his match with our Constitutional remedy!

Kentucky: Heavily Poor White State With Two Senators Who Wish To Gut Medicaid And Obamacare, Which Benefits Their Struggling Constituents!

Kentucky is an extremely poor state, especially in the eastern Appalachia counties, heavily poor whites, who have high levels of preexisting health problems, and depend on Medicaid and ObaamCare, and are now scared to death that they will lose their lifeline, and all because of the mean spirit, lack of empathy and compassion, and selfishness, of the Republican Party.

Kentucky has 60 percent of people in Appalachia on disability benefits, and overall one third of its people are dependent on government programs.

The Opioid crisis also affects Kentuckians at very high rates, due to depression over horrible job prospects, and high levels of unemployment, caused to be greater by the Great Recession, provoked by Republicans and their lack of concern about regulation of banks and Wall Street before 2008, and now ready again to make the same mistakes and repeal the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 to prevent such future economic disasters.

And in the midst of this issue of struggling constituents, Kentucky has two Republican Senators who do not give a damn about their own population.

Rand Paul, with his crazy libertarian ideas, wants to destroy ObamaCare and gut Medicaid, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is even more the villain, as he undermines his own state, having utilized racism and misogyny to keep his Senate seat and the power of the Majority Leader, and to destroy everything Barack Obama did, which benefited Kentuckians and the nation.

How much more evil could two men be, but also, how ignorant a population, that they would be manipulated and tricked into supporting the reelection of, arguably, the worst two Senators combined in any state of the Union?