Ronald Reagan

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

Presidents In Last Two Years In Office: Tradition Of Opposition Congress And Little Legislation Accomplished!

When one looks back at the past century of Presidential history, it is clear that it is common for the President to have to deal with an opposition Congress in the last two years of his tenure, and in two cases, a divided Congress in the last two years in the White House.

This, of course, means little can be accomplished, other than by judicial appointments, and by executive orders, as significant legislation is unlikely.

Look at the list of Presidents who dealt with opposition Congresses in their last two years:

Woodrow Wilson–1919-1920
Dwight D. Eisenhower–1959-1960
Richard Nixon–1973-1974
Gerald Ford–1975-1976
Ronald Reagan–1987-1988
George H. W. Bush–1991-1992
Bill Clinton 1999-2000
George W. Bush–2007-2008
Barack Obama–2015-2016

Add to this list two Presidents who had a divided Congress in their last two years:

William Howard Taft–1911-1912–Democratic House and Republican Senate
Herbert Hoover–1931-1932–Democratic House and Republican Senate

So if all the Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama are counted, it means ELEVEN Presidents faced a Congress unfriendly to them in the last two years of office, with only TR, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter having “friendly” Congresses in their last two years, with Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy in office too short a term to qualify, since they died in office, unlike Gerald Ford, who actually completed a short term.

So 11 of 17 Presidents, two thirds of the total, have had to deal with the reality of the decline of their ability to control events, other than judicial appointments and executive orders!

It Looks As If The Bush Dynasty Is Not Done: Hints That Jeb Bush Will Announce For President!

It now seems clear that Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor; and brother of the 43rd President, George W. Bush; and son of the 41st President, George H. W. Bush, will soon announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

Jeb has not run for political office since 2002, and has not been in political office since 2006, but he is making the rounds of appropriate sites and venues, and speaking out on the issues as he sees them, many of them alienating the Tea Party Movement within the GOP, but soothing the mainstream, “Establishment” Republicans, who tend to control the party machinery when it comes to actual nomination battles, including those of Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012.

If Jeb does run, he will run as a hawk in foreign policy, and sympathetic on immigration and “common core” educational standards in domestic policy, all of which will irritate many who are part of the right wing extremists in the party in 2014.

If he runs, it will also make the Bush family a true dynasty covering nearly 40 years of American politics, as his dad was considered as a possible Vice Presidential alternative, instead of Gerald Ford, when Spiro Agnew resigned at the time that Richard Nixon was under fire for Watergate.

Ford also thought of George H W Bush as a possible running mate in 1976, maybe not seriously, but under consideration, and then Bush became a Presidential candidate in 1980, ended up as the runner up, and agreed to join Ronald Reagan as Vice President for two terms. This was followed by one term in the White House, and then a bitter defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992.

But his two oldest sons then ran for the Governorships of Texas and Florida in 1994, and when Jeb lost in Florida by a very small margin, he set his sights on 1998, when he won in Florida, and then served as Florida Governor for two terms, while brother George W. went to the White House for two controversial terms.

Jeb running would create great controversy, but the Bush Family is not afraid of that, and it seems doubtful now that mother Barbara arguing against Jeb running will be listened to anymore.

Were he to win and serve two terms, Jeb would add to the fact that the Bush Dynasty would have lasted longer than any other, even more than the Adamses (John and John Quincy, and with THREE Presidents, not two. And the theoretical Kennedy dynasty would look quite insignificant, since only John F. Kennedy had the opportunity to serve as President, despite the desires of many that Robert and Ted Kennedy might do the same.

So although the Bush dynasty might not seem as glamorous as the Kennedy dynasty has often been seen, it is still making history!

Jerry Brown’s Fourth Presidential Campaign Coming In 2016?

California Governor Jerry Brown is one of the most fascinating figures in American politics.

Always a bit different than other politicians, and often seen in his younger days as “flaky”, Brown is now 76 years old, and will begin his fourth term as governor of the largest state in the Union, California, next month.

Brown became noticed nationally precisely forty years ago when he succeeded Ronald Reagan, who had defeated Brown’s dad, Pat Brown, who had served two terms as Governor, before Reagan’s two terms.

Brown was 36 years old when he began his first term as Governor. Now he is 76 years old, and has proved to be a true survivor over four decades of American history.

After leaving the California Governorship at the end of 1982, and having lost a race for the US Senate, Brown ended up in public office again as Mayor of Oakland, and State Attorney General, before deciding to run again for Governor in 2010, 28 years after his having left that office.

Brown came into a state reeling from economic disaster under previous Governor Gray Davis, who was removed from office in a recall election in 2003, but his successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had little more luck on the economy.

But now, the California economy is flourishing by comparison, with the budget deficit overcome by tax increases and some budget cuts.

So there are observers who think Brown might just announce his fourth Presidential candidacy, having challenged ultimate nominee Jimmy Carter in 1976; President Carter in 1980; and ultimate nominee Bill Clinton in 1992.

And the thought that Brown might challenge Hillary Clinton, 24 years after challenging her husband, is, in itself, a fascinating story.

Is there any chance that Jerry Brown, 40 years after first trying for the Presidency, could actually be elected the 45th President?

The odds would be astronomical, but considering that we had a failed candidate (Richard Nixon) come back in 1968; an obscure peanut farmer from Georgia (Jimmy Carter) win in 1976; a losing Presidential contender nearly 70 (Ronald Reagan) come back to win in 1980; a candidate who had a sex scandal erupt during the battle for the nomination in 1992 (Bill Clinton), but overcome it to win: and an mixed race first term US Senator with an unusual name (Barack Obama) win in 2008; who can say this could not happen?

Right Wing Hate For Barack Obama Far Surpasses Any Criticism Of Any Earlier President!

The right wing hate, led by the Tea Party Movement, for President Barack Obama, has reached the point of no return, and has FAR surpassed any criticism of any earlier President!

Whether it is talk radio, with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and others of their ilk; or Fox News Channel spewing poison and lies consistently; or the right wing think tanks, headed by the Heritage Foundation and others who distort facts and have an agenda to promote an oligarchy; or the super wealthy, such as the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others who are trying to destroy the middle class and promote their own profits at the expense of the entire nation; or the conservative journals of opinion, such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review, which promote their extremist agenda; or the lunatic House members, such as Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Steve King and others; or the right wing extremist Senators, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, newly elected Thom Tillis and Joni Ernst and others; as well as the leadership of many corporations and other special interests—there is a concerted campaign to destroy Barack Obama, with many wishing for his demise, meaning his death by whatever means possible.

Obama is more threatened now than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and in many respects, more than Lincoln, since the population is ten times what it was during the Civil War 150 years ago!

The venom, disrespect, racism, hatred, and accusations against Barack Obama have not had any limits. He has been accused of being a Muslim, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, anti Semitic, a racist against whites, a person who is bisexual, a gay man, an illegal drug abuser, having a mother who was a whore, having a different father who was a black nationalist, and much more.

Obama has been called an Emperor, a King, an abuser of Presidential power, but at the same time, he is weak and wimpy.

Sensible people see Obama as a moderate Republican of twenty to thirty years ago, not at all extreme, as Bruce Bartlett who worked for Ronald Reagan has said, who also says in many ways Obama is a traditional conservative, who has not done what liberals and progressives have wanted him to do.

On issues of human rights, Obama has been more aggressive, such as labor rights, civil rights, and gay and lesbian rights. On issues of importance to the future beyond our own time, he has supported the need for an aggressive policy on environmental protection.

But Obama has pushed a health care plan that the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole backed twenty years ago, giving health care companies control over health care, not exactly radical in nature, although depicted as such.

Obama has been attacked and criticized for every sin and fault imaginable, including wearing a tan suit; going on vacation (actually less than any recent President); using a veto power that he has only used twice; using executive orders less than any recent President; being unwilling to engage us in more wars and interventions, etc.

Through all the personal and policy attacks, Obama has always acted with dignity and calm, annoying the hell out of his critics, who want him to be the “angry black man”, and the leaders of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, give him no respect at all.

And now, the idea is being suggested by the despicable editor Richard Lowry of the National Review, that John Boehner decide not to invite the President to give his State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress!

Go ahead, right wingers, do exactly that, and the President will speak instead from the Oval Office, and will win public opinion, and show once and for all what the right wing nuts represent! If he chooses to denounce, finally, his right wing critics, who have gone beyond the pale in so many ways, it will boost his public opinion rating, just as Bill Clinton’s ratings went up after the impeachment effort against him in 1998-1999!

Expect that Obama will face impeachment by this right wing crowd, but he will come out shining as a result, and will not be removed from office. All it will do is show the Republican Party and the right wing for what they are–despicable hate mongers who will stop at nothing to destroy the 44th President of the United States!

The greatest fear is not impeachment, or not being invited to speak before a joint session of Congress, but the dangers against his life that Barack Obama faces every day, encouraged on in spirit, if not in direct statements publicly, by the opposition, which, again, is more hateful and vehement than any time since at least the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln!

Are We Entering An Age Of Older Presidents?

In American history, we have had only five Presidents who were 64 or older in office when inaugurated—Ronald Reagan, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, George H. W. Bush, and Zachary Taylor.

An additional five Presidents were ages 60-63 when inaugurated: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, but Truman and Ford were not elected at that age, but instead succeeded to the Oval Office.

This means 33 of our 43 Presidents were younger than 60 when being inaugurated President, with 24 in their 50s, and 9 in their 40s, and with Grover Cleveland in his 40s for his first term, and 50s for his second nonconsecutive term. The nine Presidents in their forties were, at the time of inauguration: James K. Polk and James A. Garfield (49); Franklin Pierce (48); Grover Cleveland and Barack Obama (47); Ulysses S. Grant and Bill Clinton (46); John F. Kennedy (43); and Theodore Roosevelt (42).

But it is now likely that the next President will be in his or her 60s, or even 70s, at the time of taking the Presidential oath. There are a total of eight potential Republican nominees in their 60s–ranging from, at the time of inauguration as follows: Mitt Romney (69); Rick Perry (66); Dr. Benjamin Carson (65); John Kasich (64); Jeb Bush (63); Mike Huckabee, Rob Portman, and Lindsey Graham (61). Romney and Perry would reach the age of 70 during a first term, and Romney, Perry, Carson, Kasich and Bush would all be in their 70s in a second term.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have four potential Presidential nominees who will be in their seventies when they would take the oath of office—Jerry Brown (78); Bernie Sanders (75); Joe Biden (74); and Jim Webb (70). All four, plus Hillary Clinton (69) and Elizabeth Warren (67) would reach the 70s during a first term, and Mark Warner (62) would reach 70 as well in a second term.

So a total of eight Republicans and seven Democrats would be over 70, either at the time of the inauguration, or within the next four years after, or the next eight years after!

When one realizes that only Dwight D. Eisenhower (70) and Ronald Reagan (77) were actually in the Presidency past their 70th birthday, and Ike was only three months beyond 70, it is clear that we are likely to create new ground, since much of the talent pool is comparatively old, and from the “Baby Boomer” generation born from 1946 onward.

Of course, there are younger Presidential candidates or potential candidates–for the Republicans–Rick Santorum (58); Mike Pence (57); Rand Paul and Chris Christie (54); and in the 40s in 2016, the following: Scott Walker (49); Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan (46); Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal (45), a total of nine other potential Presidents.

The Democrats have fewer alternatives: in the 50s in 2016 are: Andrew Cuomo (59); Amy Klobuchar (56); Martin O’Malley (54); and Kirsten Gillibrand (50). No one in their forties is seen as a potential Democratic nominee.

So we might end up with the oldest combination of Presidential candidates in American history, with Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney being front runners for now, and both reaching 70 within months of taking the oath of office!

Barack Obama: Who Is Our 44th President?

The attacks on Barack Obama, our 44th President, have reached a point of being totally ridiculous and preposterous in so many ways!

Critics say Obama is a Muslim, even though he never attended services at a mosque, and has called himself a Christian. Meanwhile, he has had America war against terrorist Muslims, and has used drones and troops to kill more Muslims than George W. Bush, including Osama Bin Laden!

Critics say Obama is a weak President, who has been unwilling to confront Vladamir Putin and defend Ukraine, while George W. Bush did not confront Putin on military action in Georgia in 2008; Lyndon B. Johnson did not confront the old Soviet Union on military action in Czechoslovakia in 1968; and Dwight D. Eisenhower did not confront the old Soviet Union on military action in Hungary in 1956.

Critics say that Obama is an “Emperor” or “King” because of action on immigration reform, but this is the same President they have said is “weak”, and when Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and all of the other Republican and Democratic Presidents since Dwight D. Eisenhower took action on immigration, none of them were called “Emperor” or “King”. So Obama is a “weak” President who is also an “Emperor” or “King”?

Critics say Obama is a Socialist, but Obama accepted the Newt Gingrich–Bob Dole–Heritage Foundation–Mitt Romney concept of health care, when he pushed for “ObamaCare”, which gives private insurance companies full control over health care when many Democrats and liberals and progressives really want “Medicare for all”.

Critics say Obama is anti capitalist, but Obama has tied himself to Wall Street much more than many Democrats and liberals and progressives wish he had, and the stock market is at an all time high, up about 250 percent from when he came in.

Critics say Obama is adding more to the national debt than anyone, forgetting he came in at the lowest point in 75 years, and that much of the new debt was an outgrowth of the disastrous George W. Bush economic policies that would have added the same to the national debt if John McCain and Mitt Romney had been elected President.

Critics say that Obama refused to work with the opposition party, but NO President EVER had such obstructionism as Barack Obama has had, and Republican Presidents, in particular, have found that opposition Democrats, while challenging them, NEVER promoted total lack of cooperation as the extremist right wing Republicans, led by the Tea Party Movement, have done over the past six years. Despite that, Obama has presided over a long list of accomplishments.

Critics blame Obama for the loss of seats in Congress in midterm elections, when ALL Presidents have faced that, except Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. Harry Truman in 1946, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, Bill Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2006, and now, Barack Obama in 2014, have seen the opposition party gain control of both houses of Congress. Also, FDR in 1938, Truman in 1950, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, John F. Kennedy in 1962, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, Richard Nixon in 1970, Gerald Ford in 1974, Jimmy Carter in 1978, Ronald Reagan in 1982, George H. W. Bush in 1990, and Barack Obama in 2010 lost seats, and in the case of Obama, control of the House of Representatives.

These are just eight ways in which the critics of Obama are manipulating the truth and the facts, and despite all these attacks, Barack Obama stands tall and will look much better in history than his critics wish to concede!

Midterm Elections, Second Term, A Political Disaster From Woodrow Wilson To Barack Obama!

The issue of midterm elections, second term of a President, has become one of great interest, as invariably, it weakens the President in his last two years, and inevitably, puts the opposition party in power.

This happened with Ronald Reagan in 1986, George W. Bush in 2006, and now, Barack Obama in 2014.

The second term midterm election also led to stronger opposition support in the time of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, although the Democrats already had control of both houses, gained in the first term midterm elections of 1954.

In the time of Harry Truman, while his Democratic Party kept control in the second term midterm elections of 1950, his party lost 28 seats in the House and 5 in the US Senate, after having lost the first term midterm election and control of both houses to the Republicans in 1946.

In the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt, while his party continued to control both houses of Congress, the second term midterm election in 1938 saw weaker Democratic support than his first six years, with FDR actually gaining seats in the first term midterm election of 1934, the only time until 1998 under Bill Clinton.

In the time of Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic Party lost control of both houses in the second term midterm elections of 1918, just as Wilson was about to go to Versailles to negotiate the end of the First World War, and this insured that the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations would be rejected by a Republican controlled Senate. Wilson had already suffered heavy losses in the first term midterm elections of 1914 in the House of Representatives, although not in the Senate.

The only modern President to avoid second term midterm doldrums was Bill Clinton, who still saw the opposition Republicans in control in 1998, but with the same balance in the Senate and a five seat gain by Clinton’s Democratic Party. However, Clinton and his party had suffered massive losses and control of both houses of Congress in his first term in 1994.

Opposition Congresses Vs Split Congresses: Which Performs Better?

America is about enter a new period of an opposition Congress in both houses, something that been quite common in the past 70 years since World War II.

Harry Truman had an opposition Congress in 1947-48, and despite his “do nothing Congress’ attack on them in 1948, they actually accomplished a lot, just not all that Truman preferred, an example being the anti labor Taft Hartley Act.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had an opposition Congress in 1955-1961, but a lot was accomplished, including two Civil Rights laws in 1957 and 1960, and the National Defense Education Act in 1958.

Richard Nixon had an opposition Congress in his time in office from 1969-1974, but despite conflict and Watergate, actually accomplished a lot in domestic affairs by cooperation, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Gerald Ford had an opposition Congress in his time in office from 1974-1977, and although no major legislation was passed, got along quite well with the opposition party.

Ronald Reagan had an opposition Congress in 1987-1989, and while his last two years were declining years of performance amidst the Iran Contra Scandal, he still got along quite well with the opposition party, including when the House of Representatives remained Democratic during his first six years, and Social Security was reformed by bipartisan agreement.

George H. W. Bush had an opposition Congress in his time in office from 1989-1993, but was able to move ahead on the Americans With Disabilities Act, and made a deal on a tax increase with the opposition party.

Bill Clinton had an opposition Congress in his time in office from 1995-2001, after the first two years having his party in control, and while there was plenty of turmoil and drama, they actually came to agreement on balancing the budget in his last years, and working together on welfare reform.

George W. Bush had an opposition Congress in his last two years in office from 2007-2009, and despite a lot of conflict, gained support on a bailout of banks and other financial institutions during the Great Recession.

One will notice most times that the Republicans were in the White House, and the Democrats were in control of Congress when we had opposition Congresses, and that they were a lot more cooperative in general. The point was that at least most things that had to be done, and some others as well, were accomplished!

The split Congress of 2011-2015 has seen just about total stalemate, gridlock, and failure to accomplish anything, with a GOP House and a Democratic Senate. The four other Congresses in this situation, had also much more difficulty to gain new legislation, but those five from 1911-1913 under William Howard Taft, 1931-1933 under Herbert Hoover, and 1981-1987 under Ronald Reagan still accomplished more, due to the fact that the House was Democratic, and the Senate was Republican, the opposite of the last four years.

So when we have a Democratic Congress, or a split Congress with a Democratic House, historically, things get done; while when we have a Republican Congress, or a split Congress with a Republican House, the ability to get things done is far worse!

So the prognosis for Democratic President Barack Obama and a Republican Congress, led by a party much further to the right than earlier Republicans, to accomplish much in 2015-2016, is gloomy

Media Distortion Of Presidential Approval Ratings Undermine Obama And Democrats In Midterm Elections!

The news media has done a terrible job in reporting and analyzing Presidential approval ratings of Barack Obama.

We constantly hear that Obama has very low approval ratings, when the present approval rating is 43 percent.

Of course, 53 percent say they disapprove of the President’s performance, which is not a good thing for the administration.

But what the media do not tell us is that even with his all time low rating a few months ago of 39 percent approval, the facts are that Barack Obama has the highest rating for lowest approval of any President since John F. Kennedy!

With all of the attacks on Obama that have come, incessantly, from conservatives and the Republican Party, Obama’s 39 percent low rating ever in office can be compared to the following lowest ratings of other Presidents:

George W. Bush 19
Harry Truman 22
Richard M. Nixon 23
Jimmy Carter 28
George H. W. Bush 29
Lyndon B. Johnson 35
Ronald Reagan 35
Bill Clinton 36
Gerald Ford 37

Only Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower had higher lowest approval ratings of 48 and John F. Kennedy had 56.

Additionally, Richard Nixon with 67, Ronald Reagan with 68, Bill Clinton with 73, Gerald Ford with 74, and Jimmy Carter with 75, all had lower highest approval ratings than Obama with 76. The other Presidents since FDR had higher highest approval ratings, with Dwight D. Eisenhower with 79, John F. Kennedy with 80, Lyndon B. Johnson also with 80, Franklin D. Roosevelt with 84, Harry Truman with 87, George H. W. Bush with 89, and George W. Bush with 92.

So the purposeful negative portrayal of Obama’s lowest approval rating has contributed to the negativism that the Democrats face, and may, very well, undermine the Democrats two days from now in the midterm elections.