Ronald Reagan

Nancy Pelosi Proves A Woman Can Overwhelm A Bully, A Braggart, A President Who Is Unfit To Be President

Nancy Pelosi was a great, productive leader of the House as Speaker from 2007-2011, and she will be again.

She was easily the best Speaker of the House since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, who was Speaker under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from 1977-1987.

She accomplished more under the last two years of George W. Bush and the first two years of Barack Obama than any modern Speaker other than O’Neill in the past 45 years, and makes all Republican Speakers–Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, Paul Ryan–look pitiful by comparison.

The House of Representatives will have a much more complicated calendar for the first time in 12 years, as she will push and promote the Democratic agenda in the next two years, along with consideration of the possible impeachment of Donald Trump.

Her performance in showing up Trump at an open to the press 17 minute verbal dispute in the Oval Office was masterful, and showed she can best a man who thinks he is smart and brilliant, but was shown to be “an Emperor without clothes”.   Trump was humiliated by how Pelosi portrayed him  and his manhood, and has shown, despite her reaching the age of 80 by 2020, that she is the right person to lead Democrats into a hoped for massive victory in 2020 for the Presidency and the US Senate, and retention of the House majority.

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

The Fourth Period Of Six Living Presidents Ends With Death Of George H. W. Bush

We have just seen the end of the fourth time in American history that we have had six living Presidents.

The first time was in 1861-1862, from March to January, a total of about 10 and a half months, when we had President Abraham Lincoln, and former Presidents Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan, until John Tyler died in January 1862.

The second time was 1993-1994 from January to April, a total of about 15 months, when we had President Bill Clinton, and former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, until Richard Nixon died in April 1994.

The third time, the longest time, was 2001-2004, from January to June, a total of about 40 and a half months, when we had President George W. Bush, and former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, until Ronald Reagan died in in June 2004.

And now, the fourth and last time, was 2017-2018, from January to November, a total of about 22 and a half months, the second longest time, when we had President Donald Trump, and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, until George H. W. Bush died on the last day of November 2018.

The odds of having a fifth period of six Presidents anytime soon seems unlikely, as Jimmy Carter, at age 94, would seem unlikely to have much more life longevity, but if Donald Trump were to be forced out of office, in the next two years, or be defeated, and Carter stayed in good health, it could happen.

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

George H. W. Bush And John Adams: Comparisons

With the death of George H. W. Bush, we can make many comparisons with John Adams.

Both were born in Massachusetts.

Both served as Vice President under their Presidents for eight years, John Adams under George Washington, and George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan.

Both only had one term as President, defeated for reelection.

Both are seen as lower in ranking than their predecessors, George Washington and Ronald Reagan, who served two terms in office.

Both had the President elected after them rank higher in rankings of Presidents, and both Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton served two terms in office.

Both outlived their wives.

Both had a son become President, and live to see that occur.

Both reached to the age of 90, with Adams being the longest lived until Ronald Reagan, then Gerald Ford, then George H. W. Bush, and then Jimmy Carter surpassed his age.

Bush died at the oldest age of any President, although Jimmy Carter could surpass Bush if he lives to March 22, 2019.

Both died after 25 plus years in retirement.

Both have been rated higher than their son, John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush, in rankings of historians and political scientists, and it is unlikely that their sons will ever surpass them.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.

Orange County California, Reagan And Goldwater Stronghold, Goes Completely Democratic In Midterm Elections Of 2018

Orange County California, with a population of about three million people, sandwiched between Los Angeles and San Diego, has long been conservative Republican “Country”, but in the Midterm Elections of 2018, all of the Congressional districts went to the Democrats, a startling development.

The heroes of Orange County have been Ronald Reagan, and before him, Barry Goldwater, and Democrats knew they had no opportunity to succeed in that Southern California bastion.

But now, not only did Democrats gain all four seats in that county, but also won seven of the 14 formerly Republican held seats in the California state delegation, making for a total of 46-7, compared to the former 39-14 division between Democrats and Republicans.

The Republican nominee for Governor, John Cox, lost Orange County by a hair to incoming Governor Gavin Newsom as well.

The Republican Party is dead in California for now, although the House Minority Leader is Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

It all started 25 years ago when the Republicans promoted nativism and bigotry under Governor Pete Wilson against Latinos and other immigrants, and started their generation long decline in the Golden State.

The same is likely in the future for Arizona, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, and if these named states start to veer to the Democrats, which is likely in the 2020s, then the Democrats will have a lock on the Electoral College, after being victimized twice in 2000 and 2016.

President Trump In Time Of Tragedy: A Horrific Leader, Unable To Express Deep Mourning And True Compassion

Donald Trump is truly the most horrific leader possible in time of tragedy, unable to express deep mourning and true compassion and empathy.

Think of Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Astronaut Disaster in 1986.

Think of Bill Clinton and the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

Think of George W. Bush after September 11, 2001.

Think of Barack Obama after the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, and the Sandy Hook School Massacre in 2012.

These and many other disasters are times when we look to leaders to act appropriately, and we see Presidents of both parties and all philosophies know how to act.

Not so with Donald Trump, who instead:

Throws paper towels in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and threatens to cut off funding for the island.

Shows up at an inappropriate time after the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre, when funerals for the victims are being held.

Comes to Paradise, California, after the most disastrous fire in modern history, and refers to the town as “Pleasure”, of all names.

His body language and facial expressions show he does not give a damn, and he does not know how to console and hug and show a dose of empathy and compassion.

Rather, he is going through the motions, more staging an appearance so he can draw attention to himself than anything else.

Donald Trump proves again, and again, and again, and again, that he is a horrible human being, a disgrace to the American Presidency, who deserves none of our compassion as he faces the challenge of a Democratic House of Representatives ready with subpoenas and investigations galore, which will stress him out in massive ways.

It could not happen to a “better” person.

Donald Trump Rejects Human Rights As A Principle Of American Foreign Policy, Even Theoretically, After Saudi Torture And Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

President Donald Trump has just destroyed all sense of morality, ethics, and principle, by rejecting human rights as a principle of American foreign policy, even theoretically.

Certainly, other Presidents have often ignored human rights as a principle, including Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan above all, but none as openly as Donald Trump, who has just decided to ignore intelligence information that concludes that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered the assassination and torture of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in the United States and working as a journalist for the Washington Post.

Instead, Trump is giving bin Salman a pass, refusing the concept of some kind of punishment to be meted out on Saudi Arabia for this horrendous murder and dismemberment.

No one is saying that the US should break off relations with the Saudi government, but a nation can use other strategies and tactics to indicate outrage at such a violation of human rights.

But instead, Trump, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton, are choosing to show a lack of concern or principle about the basic decency of promoting basic human rights.

It is just another sign that Trump is cozying up to authoritarian dictators, all for his own economic betterment. It has led to bitter denunciation by many public figures in government, including many Republicans, as well as Democrats.

This author believes that the United States will one day realize the danger of what has been done, that Mohammed bin Salman will turn out as King of Saudi Arabia in the future, as the most dangerous foreign leader long term, probably more than Kim Jong of North Korea, who like bin Salman, is in his early 30s, and both will be a nightmare long term in the world, way beyond the leaders of Russia and China, who are twice their age.