Republican Party

President Warren G. Harding Love Letters Revealed After Nearly A Century!

This author and blogger has taught at the college level now for 42 plus years, and one of his favorite discussions was of the Presidency of Warren G Harding (1921-1923), generally acknowledged as the worst President of the 20th century, and close to the bottom of all Presidents on any ranking, sharing that with James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce.

Harding is not remembered for very much, but he was the President who appointed former President William Howard Taft to be Chief Justice; pardoned Socialist leader Eugene Debs from prison; had his Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes, who had been the Republican Presidential nominee in 1916 against Woodrow Wilson, negotiate the Washington Naval Conference that promoted naval disarmament; established the first federal child welfare program; supported the idea of an eight hour work day; advocated an anti lynching bill to protect African Americans; and created the Bureau of the Budget.

He also had the greatest popular vote victory for a first term President in American history, and the percentage of the vote was only later surpassed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon after already residing in the White House!

Despite these accomplishments, Harding is best remembered for the scandals of his administration in the Justice Department, the Interior Department, and the Veterans Bureau (all of these generally known as the Teapot Dome scandals); and also, even more notably his sexual liaisons in and out of the White House years, most notably with Nan Britton, with whom he had an illegitimate daughter; and with Carrie Phillips, who he shared love letters discovered in the 1960s, but banned from revelation and publication at that time to avoid embarrassment.

Well, now those love letters, originally held by the Ohio Historical Society, are opened to scholars and journalists, and are the most extensive set of love letters ever discovered about any President! Much of it is x rated, and a bit shocking to many, as he describes his private parts as “Jerry”, and is extremely descriptive in his sexual language.

So one of the stories I told my students, that they would have to wait decades to learn about in detail, is open and available, revealed this week at the Library of Congress!

It will bring more attention to the 29th President, but is unlikely to raise him from the basement of rankings of Presidents of the United States!

Tea Party And Republican House Want Radical Changes In Medicare And Social Security!

Leave it to the Republican Party, and particularly its Tea Party extremists, to propose, as part of the House of Representatives budget proposals, to raise the eligibility age for future retirees for Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Presently, one must be 65 to gain Medicare, and the proposal is to raise it to 67!

Presently, one must be 67 to gain Social Security full benefits for future retirees, and the proposal is to raise it to 70!

This is pure right wing radicalism, by a party which overwhelmingly, in its past, opposed both Medicare in the 1960s and Social Security in the 1930s, when they were first made law!

These two programs are the most popular social programs, brought to America by the Democratic Party under Lyndon B. Johnson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and have had a lot to do with the growth of the middle class and a sense of security for the elderly!

Instead of raising the Medicare tax slightly, and raising the limit on Social Security to at least $250,000 income, instead of $117,000, insuring the viability of these programs long term, instead the GOP wishes to make life harder for those nearing retirement age, forcing many to work longer years full time, rather than having some time to enjoy life and take life easier after decades of toil, many of them often working at low wages, exploited by corporations and employers in general, who have an anti labor attitude!

This is an issue for the midterm elections of 2014 and beyond, that under no circumstances will there be a radical change in Medicare and Social Security allowed, because of the greed, selfishness, and lack of concern for the average American by the elite upper class that votes Republican, and victimizes the rest of the population!

Congressional Republican “Vacation” An Absolute Outrage With So Many Problems And Issues That Need To Be Dealt With!

There is criticism of President Barack Obama taking a vacation with his family, with so many foreign policy crises emerging. But it must also be said that the Republican House of Representatives, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner, which sets up the Congressional calendar for both the House and Senate, is absolutely outrageous in its short calendar of work dates, and planning more time off to campaign, while there are so many problems and issues to deal with!

What is the Congress unwilling to deal with, which should be priorities?

The Border Crisis of Central American refugees, many of them children.

The funding of veterans benefits and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Highway Trust Fund, which will run out of money for infrastructure spending, and which will lead to layoffs of workers, adding to the unemployment rate.

The increase in the minimum wage, which has not gone up since 2009, while the cost of living has increased, as it would over any five year period.

The lifeline of the unemployment compensation, which has left many millions without any sustenance, and increased homelessness across the nation.

And these are just the biggest priorities, but this Congress, the 113th, is the absolute worst in modern history, if not at any time, surpassing the previous 112th Congress in negativism!

Privatization Of Education And Of Prisons Makes Profit More Important Than Anything Else!

The privatization movement, popular among conservatives and the Republican Party, produces disasters!

It creates charter schools which, only in rare cases, is better than public education, and gives children educators who are less qualified and lower paid. The results of charter schools are not good, based on statistics!

Additionally, for profit education on the university and college level is a boondoggle, ripping off taxpayers, and cheating gullible students who think they can get a degree worth the paper of the diploma, when instead they get inferior or no education, and tremendous debts that impoverish them.

Also, privatization of prisons is a horrendous idea, as the goal is to cut costs, recruit more prisoners, and mistreat those inmates in ways that have been shown to be extremely abusive!

The privatization industry caters to politicians who are willing to promote their unethical, immoral businesses.

An example is the GEO group, one of the worst prison corporations of all, making massive profits, and for awhile, was winning the contract to name the stadium at my institution, Florida Atlantic University, until there were student and staff protests, leading to the removal of the university president, and the cancellation of the contract.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is being catered to by GEO, in order to promote further expansion of their profits in the Sunshine State, an absolutely despicable event, which should be used by Democrats against one of the worst Governors in America!

Education and law enforcement, including prisons, should NEVER be privatized, as it makes profit more important than anything else, and lacks any sense of propriety, ethics, and morals!

Capital Punishment In Oklahoma And Arizona: Obscene, Barbaric And MUST End Nationally!

The issue of capital punishment is always controversial, but with the reality that support for it is declining, and it is becoming much more difficult for states which allow capital punishment to gain the appropriate drugs to be administered, so as to avoid violation of the Eighth Amendment, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”!

We have now witnessed the obscene and barbaric use of a mixed cocktail of drugs which set up what is barred–botched executions in Oklahoma a few weeks ago, and now today, in Arizona!

The inmate who was executed in Oklahoma took 40 excruciating moments to die, and today, it took two hours for the inmate in Arizona to die!

This is totally unacceptable, and the whole concept of capital punishment itself is despicable, and MUST end nationally, as it does not deter crime, and too many people are executed who have been on death row, a situation in which many have been exonerated of their crimes by DNA evidence!

But even if a criminal is truly guilty, the idea that America allows capital punishment when only a few nations do so, including China and Iran, makes us stand out as uncivilized, as compared to other western democracies in the world!

Governors Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Jan Brewer of Arizona should be condemned for their hardline stand, amazing even more so in that to imagine women authorizing unconstitutional “experiments” with unknown cocktails of drugs is to make one wish to vomit!

It does not take courage, but rather lack of humanity, for these two GOP Governors to have allowed such a despicable example of violation of the Constitution of the United States!

It Is Time For Republicans To Condemn Sarah Palin, With John McCain In The Lead!

Arizona Senator John McCain gave us Sarah Palin as a national figure in 2008, by choosing the obscure Alaska Governor as his Vice Presidential running mate.

In the past six years, Sarah Palin has contributed absolutely NOTHING to political discourse, and has worked to undermine any sense of cooperation and unity!

Palin has demonstrated how stupid, ignorant, and moronic she is on a regular basis!

She quit her job as Governor once an investigation into spending on her part began, and yet she has the gall to criticize Barack Obama, and show total lack of respect for the office he holds, along with the man.

In a recent poll, 54 percent said that Sarah Palin should just go away, and shut her mouth!

She has been an embarrassment to herself, her family, and the party that gave her the opportunity to become famous, and to earn millions on books she did not write, and reality shows that made us realize just how dimwitted she is!

It is hard not to roll one’s eyes as Sarah Palin becomes more ridiculous and inane by the day!

It is time for Republican leaders to repudiate her, and let her go to the right wing Tea Party Movement, which she has sided with, undermining the few responsible Republicans that are left in that party. The candidates she has backed are just as stupid, ignorant, inane, and literally dangerous, with their extremist views, that are undermining the rights of the poor, the minorities, women, labor, and the environment.

Senator McCain, you have continued to be supportive in public of Sarah Palin out of loyalty, but it is time to drop the false image, and for you to denounce this woman for calling for the impeachment of Barack Obama. You have already said there are no grounds for such an action, therefore disagreeing with her, without attacking her.

You need now, Senator McCain, to be a profile in courage and tell her she is wrong, and that she needs to leave the political scene. You can be sure that she would bite the hand that fed her fame, but it would make her look even worse by doing so, and would make you look better in history, for admitting you made a mistake in selecting her to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency!

Allen West And Sarah Palin: Quite A Team On Impeachment!

Former one term Florida Congressman Allen West and former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin are leading the charge to impeach President Obama!

These two are such a comedy team!

West was pushed out of the military for his reprehensible behavior with a prisoner of war in the Iraq conflict, and has shown definite delusional behavior, a mentally ill man, who served only one term in Congress, but has gained a following from the extremist right wing, with his reckless, loony statements about many issues, but focusing his attention on the President.

Palin has been an embarrassment since John McCain picked her out of obscurity to run for Vice President, and she guaranteed that he had no chance to win the Presidency, because it was immediately clear that this woman has no knowledge base, is a total fool, and an annoyance for many Americans to listen to and watch as part of the news. She has never made any contributions in any form to public discourse, and is an embarrassment not only to herself, but to the Republican Party and womanhood itself!

A new poll shows that 54 percent want Sarah Palin to go away, and only conspiracy theorists and lunatics admire Allen West.

Each served for just a couple of years in public office, and one would wish that both would simply disappear from the political scene, as they will be condemned in history as whackos, and they both undermine the concept of public service!

And what they want, the impeachment of Barack Obama, is based on no credible case; will cost the taxpayers lots of wasted money; will undermine the Republican Party legitimacy; and will end up with Obama staying in office, standing strong against hate and prejudice unseen since the time of Abraham Lincoln!

And, as has been stated before, even if West and Palin and their ilk accomplished their goal of kicking Obama out of the Oval Office, he would be replaced by Vice President Joe Biden, who would proceed to be elected to one of two terms of his own, following similar policies and ideas of his boss, so what is gained by this caper, except the elevation of Joe Biden to the Presidency?

It is clear that West and Palin, and all those other whackos who want impeachment, have no clue or understanding as to what they are doing, and its implications! Ignorance and stupidity reign instead, in the brains of these two characters and those who follow and believe in them!

Ohio And The Republican Party

So the Republican Party has chosen Cleveland, Ohio, for its national convention in 2016!

This is a very interesting selection, to choose a strong Democratic city to hold their convention!

It is true, however, that Ohio is the ultimate “swing state”, as it, most recently, decided the Presidential Election Of 2004 in favor of President George W. Bush over Senator John Kerry.

And Ohio gave us six Presidents, all Republicans, from 1868-1923, with the elections of Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

Only Grant and McKinley were reelected, however, and only Grant served two full terms, with Garfield and McKinley assassinated in office; Hayes denied renomination of his party; Taft defeated with the worst popular vote percentage and lowest electoral vote for an attempted reelection in 1912; and Harding dying of natural causes in office. Also, Grant and Harding presided over the greatest corruption in American history on the national level until Richard Nixon came along!

Overall, these six Ohio Presidents did not add much to the record of the Presidency in a positive manner, with McKinley being rated the best of the group; Grant usually the worst, although now undergoing some historical rehabilitation; Harding also near the bottom of the list of Presidents, but also being reevaluated by some scholars: and Garfield seen as possibly the major loss of the group, due to his short time in office before being assassinated.

Ohio is also the home of Governor John Kasich, former long term Congressman and one of the leaders of the GOP in the House of Representatives, who is seen as one of the longer shots who might run for President, and this author has already mentioned him as a potential candidate, with some positives greater than the list of candidates usually mentioned in print as the most likely candidates.

But the reality is that Ohio is likely to go Democratic as it did in 2008 and 2012, and the Democratic Party can win the Presidency without Ohio.

For the Republican Party to believe that holding their convention in Ohio insures their victory for the White House in 2016 is truly delusional!

Two Experienced National Presidential Campaigners Who Could Challenge Hillary Clinton For Democratic Presidential Nomination: Al Gore And Jerry Brown!

The basic belief that goes around in political circles is that Hillary Clinton has the Democratic Presidential nomination for the asking, and has more experience and background than anyone who could possibly run against her in the primaries, with the major exception of Vice President Joe Biden!

But it is also noted that, actually, there are two very experienced Democrats who have run for President before, along with Hillary and Joe, and yet few are paying any attention to these two men!

I am talking about former Vice President Al Gore, who lost the Presidency in 2000 to George W. Bush, despite having won the national popular vote by about 540,000, but losing the contested election in Florida in the Supreme Court case of Bush V. Gore. Also, Gore sought the Presidency in 1988, before losing the nomination to Michael Dukakis.

I am also referring here to three time Democratic Presidential seeker, California Governor Jerry Brown, who sought the nomination in 1976 and again in 1980 against Jimmy Carter, and against Bill Clinton in 1992!

Both are tested, although both are from “long ago” in many people’s minds, since Gore has never tried for public office since 2000, and sixteen years is a very long time in politics. One could say that Hillary and Joe are also from “long ago”, but they have continued to hold public office consistently since the new century began, with Hillary only “retiring” in 2013 to write her memoir on her years as Secretary of State!

Jerry Brown goes back much further having been Governor of California at age 35, serving from 1975 to 1983; then later being Oakland Mayor and California Attorney General; and then returning to the Governorship 28 years after leaving it, and becoming the oldest Governor in the history of the state in 2011, and now running for a second term at age 76.

There have been rumors that Brown would love to run again, and dog the Clintons, as he did Jimmy Carter. It would be ironic if he was to challenge Hillary as he did her husband in 1992!

Of course, Brown would be nearly 79 were he to become President in 2017, and Al Gore would be nearly 69, just five months younger than Hillary Clinton, while Joe Biden would be 74 at the time of the inauguration!

One might say that having all these “old folks” running or considering the Presidency is disturbing, and add to that mix, two liberals who are rumored to run, If Hillary chooses not to run, or possibly even if she does—Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who would be 67 on Inauguration Day, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (technically a Socialist), who would be 75.

While we are at it, why not add Secretary of State John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, to the list, with him being 73 if elected to the Presidency in 2016!

These people, all seven of them, represent a lot of talent and experience and brilliance, but ranging from 67 to 79 is NOT a good trend, particularly with the strong likelihood that the Republican Party will nominate someone much younger, probably by a full generation, or close to it, in years!

Voter “Fraud”, Voter Suppression, Civil Rights, And The 26th Amendment!

We hear Republicans claim “voter fraud”, which is a total fraud in itself, as the amount of voter fraud has been shown to be something like one billion of one percent!

There is no voter fraud to speak of, and if we are going to talk about voter fraud, what about the fraud in the vote count in Florida in the Presidential Election of 2000, which benefited George W. Bush over Al Gore; and the reported voter fraud in Ohio in the Presidential Election Of 2004, which again benefited George W. Bush, this time over John Kerry?

It is a fact that only in states that are seen as in danger of turning “blue”, do we see accusations of voter fraud, to insure that a “red” state will stay “red”! So we have seen the Southern states and some Midwestern states, which have passed voter suppression laws, affecting African Americans, Latinos, poor people, the elderly, and now, even the young.

So the classic case, but not the only one, is North Carolina, which now had cut down the number of voting days before Election Day; has stopped same day registration; has decided that early voting on the Sunday before the election shall be ended (what often is the method for black churchgoers to make voting a group event); has required a state ID to vote, something many poor people cannot afford, and often have trouble getting to proper locations if they wish to buy it in person (a requirement); and now is preventing 16 and 17 year old high school students from preregistration; and not allowing college students from other states to use their college address so that they can vote in the state elections of the college or university they are attending and residing in for four or more years!

So we have a law suit against North Carolina, asserting that they are discouraging college and young voters from registering and voting, therefore trying to fix the elections, true voter fraud! And the constitutional case is the 26th Amendment of 1971, which allows 18-21 years old citizens to vote!

This is the new attempt at what used to be called “Jim Crow” laws, and the Republican Party is fully backing such denials in multiple states, right after the Supreme Court, wrongfully, weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965, forgetting the struggles, bloodshed, and deaths suffered in the battle for voting rights. The ultimate civil right is voting rights!

What is clear is that when the states lose these battles, particularly regarding the 26th Amendment, they are guaranteeing the loss of the young vote for generations, as any intelligent young person voting for the party which worked to suppress its voting rights is as likely as “Hell Freezing Over!”