Right Wing

Concerns For 2018–The Social Safety Net, The Wall, Health Care Obliteration, And Environmental Damage All Part Of A Second Year Nightmare Under Donald Trump

In the midst of all the turmoil surrounding the craziness and maniacal behavior of Donald Trump, the reality in 2018 is that there are great concerns over the future of major issues that are facing us in this new year.

The Social Safety Net–the programs of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt (including Social Security), and of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson (including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965)–are in great danger of being obliterated by an extremist Right Wing Republican Party, which is out to destroy everything that has been done in the past 85 years, including contributions by other Presidents, both Republican and Democratic.

Also, at a time when the fate of the “Dreamers” is in danger, Trump wants to build a wall with Mexico, which is unnecessary and will not work to prevent the dwindling illegal immigration from Mexico; is a boondoggle wasting American taxpayer money; and further undermines our relationship with our 2,000 mile neighbor, continuing to promote the nativism of the Republican Party, pure hatred with no moral or ethical justification.

And the total obliteration of Obama Care, which millions signed up for in late 2017 despite so much discouragement and barriers by the Trump Administration, is also on the docket, undermining the health and shortening the lives of millions of Americans.

Also, the destruction of all environmental standards is also a major Trump and Republican goal, eliminating conservation policies since Theodore Roosevelt in the early 20th century, and the refusal to show respect for nature and for the dangers of global warming, is extremely alarming.

The March On Washington 1963, Plus 54 Years: Backtracking On Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

Fifty four years ago, The March on Washington occurred, with the most famous moment being the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech before a crowd of whites and African Americans estimated at a quarter of a million people.

The march was impetus for the passage in the following two years of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights, with Lyndon B. Johnson picking up where John F. Kennedy left off.

Now, a half century later, the great progress on civil rights and civil liberties has suffered backtracking, partly by the right wing Supreme Court, and partly by the policies of President Donald Trump.

It is very disconcerting and even tormenting that the progress made has been reversed.

But that means the battle to restore and expand what makes America a democracy must not be abandoned because of setbacks, but rather pursued with renewed energy and commitment, in order to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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 Tragedy Of Senator John McCain, And What Might Have Been, And Luckily Did Not Occur

The news of Arizona Senator John McCain having brain cancer, with a low rate of survival long term, is a great tragedy.

Senator McCain is a courageous war hero; an outstanding figure in Senate history; a man with true principles and dignity; and in a party with so few people to admire, he stands out as a man who would not allow a nutty woman at a campaign rally to call his opponent, Barack Obama, an Arab and not a true American.

That moment in 2008 was a great example of the true John McCain, a man to respect and wish the best for his recovery.

At times, this author has been exasperated with John McCain, as at time, he waxes hot and cold, but at all times, there has been an acknowledgement of how he stands way above the norm of the Republican Party, and the fact that the right wing has always been a bitter critic, adds to his stature.

The only time when many could not tolerate McCain at all was when he allowed himself to be pushed into selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential running mate in 2008.

This was a total nightmare, but of course, McCain would not admit the error at any time since, but the thought of the moronic Palin being a heartbeat away, and having to listen to her outrageous public statements and actions over the past nine years, is enough to make one go insane!

This blogger always had the worry what if McCain had been elected, and had died in office, since he had numerous problems with skin cancer over the years, and had suffered mightily in injuries as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam from 1967-1973.

Once the eight years passed, we could sigh relief that McCain had made it through those eight years after Obama was elected.

But here we are in the first year since, and we have to say, thank goodness that McCain’s serious illness, if it had to happen, occurred now, not back then, which would have created a constitutional crisis only a bit less horrible than the present one with Donald Trump.

And McCain has redeemed himself on Palin by being a harsh critic of Trump, and warning against his excesses, and the idea that Trump would say McCain was not a hero because he was a prisoner of war, is one of the most egregious of a multitude of sins that Trump has said and done, and with no apology.

So McCain remains an American hero, and someone worthy to be praying for a recovery from his cancer diagnosis!

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!

Ike’s Farewell Address Being Ignored By Republican Party And Donald Trump 56 Years Later

On this day in 1961, with three days left in office, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his greatest speech in his Farewell Address, warning America about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex.

56 years later, the Republican Party and Donald Trump are totally ignoring this warning, and setting America back to the Gilded Age in domestic policy making, and a dangerous isolationism in foreign policy, alienating all of our NATO allies, and creating an unstable world by the lunatic ideas of a man many are calling Trumpolini!

We are moving into very difficult and tumultuous times, and yet 11 million more people voted against Donald Trump than for him, when one counts the 3 million more votes for Hillary Clinton, and the total of 8 million more votes for third party and independent candidates.

Our Electoral College system has put America into a constitutional crisis, with no idea how it will end.

Progressives must commit themselves to fight endlessly against the extremist right wing government, Fascist in many ways, that is about to take over our government.

We will need to be vigilant about our Bill of Rights, and refuse to sit back and allow horrible actions that are against our entire historical tradition.

115th Congress To Open, On Heels Of Three Worst, Most Unproductive Congresses In Modern History Since World War II!

Today is the opening day of the 115th Congress, on heels of the three most unproductive Congresses in modern history since World War II, and we are on the way to the most corrupt, disgraceful Congress in all of American history, including the Gilded Age years of the late 19th century.

It is as if the Republican majority in Congress is out to repeal the 20th century, going back to the 1920s Congresses that came before the Great Depression, caused by Republican policies, and rectified in great measure by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s.

The whole concept of a national government that was concerned about the economic status of its people, promoted by the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, as well as the reforms brought about under later Presidents, including Barack Obama, seem about to be wiped out in great measure by the nasty, vindictive, uncaring right wing Republican Party, which is not even embarrassed about getting rid of their ethics committee, brought about by Congressional scandals a decade ago. Now the thought is, who cares what the public thinks about sex and financial scandals, as we will simply push them under the rug!

That is why the news media, particularly the major newspapers and periodicals and electronic media MUST not allow themselves to be cowed into silence, as it is only the responsible news media that will be able to inform us of the truth and preserve light in a time of darkness.

This is a time for mourning, but one can be assured that the Republicans will pay the price long term for the sins, misdeeds, and even crimes they are now about to perpetrate in harming women, children, workers, the poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the environment, racial minorities, gays and lesbians, immigrants, Muslims, and all other oppressed groups who now are faced with the most right wing extremist Congress in nearly a century.

115th Congress Begins Tomorrow: Joe Biden Could Have A Surprise (We Can Hope)!

Tuesday, January 3, is the opening of the 115th Congress, but Joe Biden is still Vice President for 17 days more, and could have a surprise up his sleeve, which is perfectly constitutional.

What is this potential surprise?

Joe Biden, in league with Democrats in the US Senate, can call for an immediate vote on the languishing Supreme Court appointment of Merrick Garland, made ten months ago, to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of last year.

It is unheard of to deny the Supreme Court a full number of members for an entire year, but this is what the Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did, and it borders on unconstitutionality, for which the Republicans have suffered no consequences.

Joe Biden, after 36 years in the US Senate, and eight as Vice President under Barack Obama, has continued to keep good relationships across the aisle, and was praised profusely recently by Republicans, as well as Democrats, in a near eulogy about his great Senate and public service.

But that does not mean that Joe Biden is, as nice and gracious and cordial and warm as he is, not willing to be a gutter fighter over principles he believes in, and he was vehement at the unfairness of not giving Merrick Garland a Senate hearing at the least, on his unquestioned qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Garland was “railroaded” in Biden’s mind, victimized for no good reason, and Joe feels Garland should not be pushed by the wayside, in his own heart and mind.

So the rumors were around, and then hushed, that Joe Biden might call for a vote of the 66 returning Senators who do not need to be sworn in by him after 12 noon tomorrow.

If he decides to call a vote, the balance of those 66 Senators is 34 Democrats, 2 Independents (Bernie Sanders and Angus King), and 30 Republicans, so on a straight party line vote, Garland would be confirmed 36-30, and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans could do NOTHING about it legally, as it is constitutional to call a vote, and there is no constitutional requirement to have hearings. Many Justices never had hearings, which only became customary and drawn out in the 1980s, when Joe Biden led the fight with Ted Kennedy against Robert Bork, and later in the 1990s and since, when Joe Biden led the fight against Clarence Thomas on the Court.

So the point is that Joe Biden knows now to play “hard ball”, and he just could surprise us tomorrow, which would lead to condemnation by the right wing and Republicans, but who really cares?

The GOP does not worry about being nasty and playing “hard ball”! In fact, they specialize and revel in it, so let them stew in their own juice!

Let us hope that Joe makes news and distinction for one of his last actions as Vice President and Presiding Officer of the US Senate.

Let him become the center of attention, and maybe, just maybe, if he stays in good health, he can break a new barrier in four years, becoming the oldest President of the United States at age 78, making Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan look like youngsters by comparison.

Certainly, Joe Biden, the common man with no fortune, running against the wealthiest and most arrogant man to ever hold the Presidency, Donald Trump, would look very tempting as an alternative in 2020, since so many think he could have won the difference in the vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, had he run, and son Beau Biden had not tragically passed away in 2015.

And there are strong hints that Delaware Senator Tom Carper, with a long distinguished career with six years as State Treasurer, ten years as Congressman, eight years as Governor, and 18 years as US Senator by the end of 2018, may wish to retire, so imagine this!

Joe Biden could run for and win back a Senate seat and add to his 36 years in the Senate, and be a sitting Senator if he decides to run for President again, and if not, he can still serve his nation in the US Senate, and add to his distinguished record of public service!

Donald Trump’s Demeaning Of Pocahontas In His Vicious Attack On Senator Elizabeth Warren: More Evidence Of Racism!

Donald Trump is a pure racist, and it shows through again in his vicious attack on Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has some Cherokee Indian ancestry.

The story about Warren taking advantage of her native American ancestry is another urban myth, promoted by the right wing slander machine, and Trump has joined in, once Warren came to the defense of Hillary Clinton, and condemned Trump’s outrageous statements and behavior.

He calls her Pocahontas, demeaning all native Americans, adding to his attacks on Muslims, Latinos, and African Americans.

Trump is so ignorant that he attacks the image of Pocahontas, without realizing the impact of this native American who married John Rolfe in colonial Virginia, and has been honored on stamps, the first Native American to be so honored in 1907.

Also, Pocahontas has many famous descendants of the First Families of Virginia. Among her descendants are two first Ladies, Edith Wilson and Nancy Reagan; astronomer Percival Lowell, who discovered Pluto; Admiral Richard E. Byrd; and Senator Harry Byrd Sr and Senator Harry Byrd Jr of Virginia.

Trump should issue an apology to the native American community, but of course, will not do so!

The Die Is Cast! Hillary Clinton Is A Flawed Candidate Who Can No Longer Be Assured The Presidency, And The Democrats’ Hold On White House Is Now Endangered!

After Hillary Clinton’s contentious press conference a few days ago, regarding the Email controversy,  and with time to reflect on the situation, one thing is very clear.

Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate who will face problems winning  the Presidency, and the Democrats’ hold on the White House is now endangered!  This is the danger of “putting all your eggs in one basket”!

This comes at a time when rumor has it that Vice President Joe Biden has, supposedly, decided not to run for President.

If that is so, then, as things now stand, the Democrats are left with the likelihood that Bernie Sanders, who has always proudly declared that he is a Socialist, is their front runner, with what seems like little chance that Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, or Jim Webb could overtake him and become competitive.

And it seems that anyone else, such as former Vice President Al Gore or Secretary of State John Kerry, both past Democratic Presidential candidates, from 16 and 12 years ago, are unlikely to run, and in any case, would be long shots for the Presidency at this point.

This would be the time for a “new generation” of leadership to rise, with Martin O’Malley, the former Governor of Maryland, to be that individual—the new John F. Kennedy, or Jimmy Carter, or Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama—but that seems highly unlikely to occur.

It seems clear that the dream of having the first woman President, and it being Bill Clinton’s wife, long believed to be a fait accompli, is not going to happen, and if it somehow does anyway, that it would be a highly flawed Presidency.

Hillary Clinton seems to many neutral observers, and even some Democrats, to be a “Nixonian” kind of personality, surrounding herself with “yes” advisers, who are unwilling all along to tell her that the appearance of impropriety and lack of ethics is clear cut.

Hillary Clinton has so messed up her campaign by her behavior and actions as Secretary of State, and lame attempts to “cover it up”, that her candidacy is one of damage control, rather than being able to advance ideas and programs.

Hillary Clinton is very intelligent and capable, but she is, sadly, going to have a campaign dominated by the Email controversy, and the implication, which may be untrue,  that she has lied, deceived, and manipulated the truth about her activities.

Her behavior and actions now endanger the ability of the Democrats to retain control of the Presidency.  If one looks at the Electoral College situation, it should have been easy for the Democrats to win the White House, but now everything is unsettled, including the possible effect of the Donald Trump candidacy.

If the Democrats lose the White House, then the Republicans would have the ability to put the Obama Presidency’s accomplishments and advances in domestic and foreign policy into reverse, a true tragedy for the nation.

It would also endanger much of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

It would probably mean a permanent, long term, right wing swing of the Supreme Court, affecting the next generation and more of legal and constitutional interpretation.

If the Democrats lose, Hillary Clinton will be blamed for the demise of what should have been an easy victory for the Democrats, but more importantly, the nation would suffer from a totally different approach to labor, the environment, women’s issues, race, immigration, science, and so much more.

So now, if not ever before, it is essential that the move of many to say “Run, Joe, Run”–to pressure Vice President Joe Biden to run—is now not just what Biden supporters wish to occur, but an absolute demand that he MUST run to save the Democratic Party and the American people from a right wing future in our government!