Progressives

Trump Voter Fraud Commission An Attack On Voting Rights, Clear And Simple!

The Trump Voter Fraud Commission, set up and headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is infamous for promoting voter suppression tactics, has become a total failure, as 44 states refuse to comply with all of the information that the commission is asking the states to provide.

Trump wants this commission, because he cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by 2.85 million to Hillary Clinton, and claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted, with absolutely no such evidence of this crazy theory.

What Trump is trying to do is a clear attack on voting rights, and an attempt to cut millions off the voter rolls, so that Trump can have less opposition for a reelection campaign in 2020.

The fact that all but a few states refuse to cooperate is a good sign, as we now have a situation in which the stares are the progressive forces, against a right wing reactionary federal government headed by Trump cronies.

This is the precise opposite of the 1960s, when we had southern states, including Mississippi and Alabama most notably, but others as well, that worked to undermine civil and voting rights, and were forced into compliance by the federal government.

There are those conservatives who believe in states rights when it is convenient, but now want that to be ignored when it comes to states and cities protecting the environment; and also law abiding immigrants, even if they may have overstayed their time as a visitor, or entered illegally, but have led law abiding lives for decades in this nation, and should not face deportation, as the Trump Administration is pursuing, to the outrage of millions of Americans!

23 Years Since Richard Nixon’s Death, Final Total Repudiation Of His Positive Legacy In Domestic Affairs

Richard Nixon died on Earth Day 1994, at the age of 81.

He died, knowing that the Watergate and related scandals under his Presidency, would damage his reputation forever.

But Nixon also left a positive legacy, which now, a generation later, is, finally, totally repudiating his time in office.

Nixon, for all his faults, was the most “liberal” or “progressive” Republican President since Theodore Roosevelt, and no Republican President since has been anywhere near as much so.

Nixon could have prevented a lot of reforms, with his veto, but instead went along with a Democratic controlled Congress, and signed into law the following:

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Large increases in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as the Food Stamp Program.

Enactment of the Supplemental Security Income program, providing a guaranteed income for elderly and disabled citizens.

Signed into law various environmental laws, and expanded national park land protection under the Department of the Interior.

Signed into law Title IX, guaranteeing equal access and opportunity to women in all educational and recreational activities in colleges and universities and public schools.

Signed into law the addition of Affirmative Action to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for women, and ethnic minorities, in education and in employment–race, color, sex, religion, national origin.

Nixon also endorsed the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women, also backed by his successor, Gerald ford, but opposed by Ronald Reagan, and failing of being added to the Constitution during the Reagan Presidency.

Finally, one of Nixon’s four Supreme Court appointments, Justice Harry Blackmun, turned out to be a very progressive member of the Court, and was the author of the majority opinion in Roe V. Wade, the abortion case, which has continued to divide Americans 44 years later, and which the Republican Party is attempting to bring about its reversal, with one step being the addition of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Now, in 2017, President Trump and the Republican controlled 115th Congress seem to be on the road to destruction of all of these major achievements under Richard Nixon, a true travesty of justice.

We are witnessing the most reactionary, right wing extremist Congress and Presidency in American history, and progressives must fight tooth and nail to prevent this destruction of the “good side” of Richard Nixon’s legacy.

The 38th Earth Day: And Donald Trump Has Declared War On The Environment And Science!

Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970.

Richard Nixon turned out to be one of the great environmental Presidents, despite his Watergate Scandal.

So was Jimmy Carter, with the best one term record on the environment. Also outstanding on the environment was Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Barack Obama reached the few on the top of the list with his magnificent advancements, which sadly, is being destroyed to a great extent by Donald Trump.

Ronald Reagan was a horrible person on the environment, but Trump is rapidly moving him from the bottom of the modern Presidents on the environment.

Trump has hired Scott Pruitt head of the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency created by Nixon and the Democratic Congress, and Pruitt is like putting a fox in a chicken coop, and is out to destroy and defund the EPA entirely in the next couple of years.

The American people must demand that this war on the environment be stopped, as for a government to be unconcerned about clean air, clean water, and safe environmental conditions at work is a crime against humanity, really equivalent of a war crime, as it indicates no concern about the health and well being of the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt, our greatest environmental President, would be furious if he knew what his Republican Party has done, declare war on nature for the selfish benefit of corrupt corporations only interested in making profits.

Donald Trump is criminal for declaring war on the environment and science, and must be held accountable for the damage he has wrought already.

It should be one of the impeachment charges brought against him in a future confrontation between the President and the Congress, hopefully brought about in 2018 by a Democratic controlled House of Representatives.

Even if that fails to occur, progressives must hold Trump accountable in history for his crimes against the environment!

Total Disarray And Chaos In The Trump White House: Are Stephen Bannon And Reince Priebus On The Way Out?

There seems to be total disarray and chaos in the Trump White House.

There are hints and indications that the Alt Right forces led by Stephen Bannon, already demoted from the National Security Council this past week, may be on the way out, which would be a good thing.

But there are also hints that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus may be gone soon, as well, seen as ineffective in controlling the chaos. Also, the role of Kelly Anne Conway has been cut back dramatically.

The growing role of Trump son in law Jared Kushner may be occurring, but one wonders if he is not being given too much responsibility and burdens for a man just 36 years old, and with ZERO experience in government.

Kushner’s Democratic heritage, and that of others close to him, primarily from New York, makes one wonder if Trump will recast himself completely from what he was when he ran for President.

If Trump does that, it will alienate much of the Republican Party and many of the voters who supported him, as it is already apparent that he has veered away from much of what he pledged and promoted to his audiences on the campaign trail.

What it comes down to is that Trump is an open vessel, with no clear agenda as he sees failures in his first two and a half months, and may be shifting gears dramatically as we observe it occurring.

That does not mean that any progressive can trust or endorse whatever changes Trump creates, as he is still a very dangerous demagogue, and could enmesh America in two wars at once, in Syria and with North Korea.

And his policies on deportation of immigrants and a Muslim Ban are totally unacceptable, as are most of his cabinet officers, and policies on the environment, health care, and so many other areas of government.

Donald Trump’s Alternate Reality And Inability To Tell The Truth Undermining America Today And In The Future

Donald Trump is clearly a very sick man, mentally unbalanced, and unable to see reality or tell the truth about anything.

We are living through a nightmare, that every morning, we wake up, and want to imagine it is over, but it is NOT over, and after 45 days in the White House, we are living through a tumultuous time which is undermining any possibility of unity, or optimism about the future.

Trump lives in an alternate reality, and is the LIAR IN CHIEF, and anyone with any common sense, can clearly notice that his behavior is far outside the norm, and that he stands out as the worst possible example of Presidential leadership.

Many observers seem to think that somehow Trump can make it through a four year term, but this author and blogger does not see it that way, and believes that if he were to do so, this nation would be so damaged in domestic and foreign policy, that it would take many decades to recover.

Why, oh why, did this nightmare have to occur, and undermine all of the progress in the past century and more under both Democratic and Republican Presidents?

All progressives have to commit themselves to active efforts to end this nightmare by stopping their divisive tactics, as with the Democratic National Chairman election, where some came out of the situation disgruntled.

The fact that Tom Perez asked Keith Ellison to be his deputy should be the first example of cooperation among progressives for the future, or else, progressivism is doomed long term.

Cabinet Of “Deplorables” Marches Forward Toward Confirmation

The effects of election results are demonstrated once again as the Cabinet of “Deplorables” marches forward toward confirmation.

The last 24 hours have been particularly gloomy as Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education, and Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General.

Having a person who has never in any way been involved in public education and believes in charter schools and Christianized education is outrageous and demoralizing. America’s children will suffer as she takes over with the intention of ignoring the issues of disabled students, racial and ethnic minorities, and the protection of women and girls, and the problem of guns in schools.

Jeff Sessions reminds us too much of George Wallace, and the old saying applies–Once a bigot, always a bigot–ant to believe that he will dispense equal justice, and enforce civil rights and civil liberties, and protect women’s rights and immigrants rights, is to believe the tooth fairy.

We will soon see Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services, with an intention to destroy Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare as we know it; and Scott Pruit head the Environmental Protection Agency which he has sued 14 times and would like to destroy the agency if he could; and Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, but not dedicated to preservation of the National Parks and protection of native American rights.

And other horrors in the cabinet are also in line for a vote, one that the Democrats and Progressives are unable to stop, a very depressing time.

The End Of An Era, And The Beginning Of A Dangerous Challenge To Our Nation, Its Past And Its Future!

I am writing this entry on the evening of January 19. In about 15 hours Donald Trump will be inaugurated President of the United States.

We are ending the Obama era, a great period of accomplishment, in about 15 hours, and it feels like a funeral scene.

The only good thing is that both Barack Obama and Joe Biden are alive and will fight along with all of us who are progressives, against the dangerous challenge to our nation, presented by Donald Trump and Fascism!

I will do my part in this struggle, and appreciate my readers and contributors who are there with me over the next few years.

We must be optimistic that the future will work out, although there will be harm to many, particularly those who are sick, weak, poor, gay, and of minority religious, racial, or ethnic heritage.

United we will triumph, and we have overcome the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, and the Richard Nixon Watergate Crisis, and Donald Trump will fail in his mission to destroy the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and the Obama legacy!

I will not post tomorrow, a rare exception, and will not watch or listen to the inauguration, and instead go to the movies with my younger son, but I will, of course, learn what has happened, and comment on it starting on Saturday, January 21.

So, everyone, be confident, as the progressive battle, going on since Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette Sr. and George Norris 116 years ago, will continue and prosper!

Joe Biden Presidential Bid In 2020?

Hard to believe, but Vice President Joe Biden is actually considering the possibility of running again for President in 2020, when he would be 78 years of age.

Biden is leaving public life on January 20, after 44 years of service, close to an all time record, with 36 years as Delaware Senator and 8 years as a very active, involved, and engaged Vice President, who had a major impact on the office.

Everyone loves Joe Biden, even Republicans, who saluted him in a Senate honoring of him this week, as Biden was able, even under President Obama, to cross the aisle and gain some support, even when Republicans were reluctant to work with the President.

Since the election, the feeling has developed that Biden, the “poorest US Senator” in his past, and with working class roots, and knowing how to appeal to the white working class, would have been able to bridge the difference in votes in Pennsylvania (the state he grew up in), Michigan and Wisconsin, and pulled out victory had he been the Democratic Presidential nominee.

If Biden’s son, Beau Biden, had not died in May 2015, it is believed that Joe would have run against Hillary Clinton, and might have been able to defeat her, and even Bernie Sanders, for the nomination, something, however, we will never be sure of, but a thought that will linger.

Of course, many liberals and Democrats will argue that Joe Biden is too old to run again, and that his record in the Senate was not as liberal as Bernie Sanders, and more in line with the record of Hillary Clinton, and that he cannot please millennials and the strong Left in the Democratic Party, which wants new and more progressive leadership in the future.

It is clear that if Biden ran, his warts and shortcomings would be emphasized, including originally supporting the Iraq War, as Hillary Clinton did, and the struggle for the nomination would not be easy, and one wonders if he could actually defeat Donald Trump if Trump ran for reelection.

What is clear now is that there is no way to know the future, after seeing Presidents, including John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump overcome many hurdles that few thought they could to win the Presidency, so who can say that a well loved, working class guy like Joe Biden at the age of 78, could not win the White House?

This is what makes following American politics so exciting, and also, get this, a Senate seat looks ready to open, as Democratic Senator Thomas Carper, finishing his third term in 2018, is rumored to be planning to retire, so in theory, and by some rumors, Joe Biden could run to return to the Senate and add to his six terms and 36 years in the Senate, and therefore be in elective office, at the time of a Presidential campaign in 2020!

The Electoral College Future May Be Bright For Democrats Soon, With Growing Hispanic Population In North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona

Democrats are rightfully very gloomy one month after the election, with the close vote but loss in three “Blue” states–Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

But when one looks down the road, so to speak, the long range future of the party is bright, since the growth of Hispanic-Latino population, and even the Asian American population, is going to have the effect of changing “Red” states to “Blue” over the next decade.

North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona are moving toward a major change in their population, which cannot be reversed, and the Electoral College advantage will definitely be in favor of the Democrats, as a result.

North Carolina with 15 electoral votes, Georgia with 16 electoral votes, Texas with 38 electoral votes, and Arizona with 11 electoral votes, are all growing and becoming more population of these racial minorities, and all four states will have a growth in electoral votes after the Census of 2020 and reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.

As it is now, these four states have 80 electoral votes, but will have a few more in the 2020s, more than enough to overcome the 46 electoral votes of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The likelihood of any other of the remaining 15 solid “Blue” states, numbering 15 of the 20 states Hillary Clinton won, going “Red” are extremely unlikely—as the five New England states, four Middle Atlantic states and DC, two Midwestern states, and four Pacific Coast states are all rock solid. The 5 “swing” states that still went to Hillary Clinton–New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico–are also extremely unlikely to swing “Red”, as they did not give in to the sway of Donald Trump. The three western states are becoming more Hispanic and Asian American every year, and Virginia is influenced by its growing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, and New Hampshire by its proximity to Boston. Only New Hampshire might go to the Republicans, but the other four seem certain to remain in the Democratic camp, so New Hampshire with 4 electoral votes is not significant enough to worry about.

So the future is bright, but meanwhile, progressives have to build state parties and win seats in both houses of Congress, a tall order in the short run, but with the hope that long term, the prognosis is much better.

Remember that the three states taken by Trump, all in the Rust Belt, are likely to lose some seats in reapportionment, while the growing states likely to go “Blue” are all to gain seats, so the Electoral College future strongly favors the Democrats.

Just now, if one imagines those four “Red” states going Democratic in the future, the electoral vote of 232 for Hillary Clinton would become 312 with the 80 electoral votes!

And of course, do not write off that Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania could revert to the Democratic camp, as the Trump wins were very small margin, less than one percent of all votes cast in the three states, and less than 80,000 votes in total!

The Millennial Generation Against Donald Trump And Republican Mentality

The millennial generation, those under 30, are clearly NOT Donald Trump supporters by any estimation.

And most are not Republicans or conservatives, but rather Democrats and progressives, or leaning, clearly, in that direction.

They are much more tolerant and open minded than their elders, on all kinds of issues, and they resent Donald Trump’s divisive tactics.

They are gaining or have more education than those more senior in the population.

They have no issue with racial and ethnic minorities, or gay and lesbian people.

They see Donald Trump as obnoxious, while many elderly, crazily, seem to admire the “Donald”.

Face the facts, the elderly among us, or at least a good percentage of them, are an embarrassment with their prejudices, hatreds, and narrow mindedness.

It may not be a majority, and hopefully it is not, but it is disturbing when even this blogger, in giving lectures to seniors in South Florida, finds many supporting Trump.

It is the younger generation, and also those 30-45, who will save the nation from a Fascist government, put into power by ignorant and selfish people of the older generations, of which, ironically, I am a member, but nothing like many of my so called peers!