Science

First Thoughts After The Inauguration: How Nasty, Mean Spirited, And Lacking In Compassion Donald Trump Really Is!

I had said I was taking a day off from commentary, and will write in greater detail tomorrow, but I felt a need to comment just before midnight on Inauguration Day, so here goes!

Donald Trump in just 12 hours has made clear just how nasty, mean spirited, and lacking in compassion he really is!

He claims that he is in the White House for the average American, but he has painted a picture of America which is very dark, very pessimistic, and very lacking in truth.

He claims there is a “carnage” that has gone on, even though Barack Obama presided over more employment gains than any President in history, and starting from a economic disaster known as the Great Recession, and in danger of falling further into another Great Depression!

He claims concern for mothers and children in the “ghettos” in the cities, but has never once indicated what he will do.

He declares “America First” without any understanding of the history of that term.

He has no knowledge or understanding of history or science, as he declares war on the environment, with lack of concern for our children and grandchildren by putting profits ahead of health and safety in the future.

He is basically telling our allies in Europe and Asia to go to hell, and promoting isolationism, protectionism, super nationalism bordering on Fascism.

He talks about America being great again, when it already is, but is willing to destroy all progress accomplished under his predecessor, who he spent five years destroying, and now will put the final nails in the 44th President’s legacy.

He says he cares about the “forgotten people”, but he is taking steps to harm these same people, including many who voted for him.

How can this man sleep at night, have no conscience, and be almost gleeful at destroying all of the great social and economic progress from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama?

It as if the devil is in him, Satan in a way, a man with no ethics, morals, or scruples.

One has to believe in divine retribution in the next world, or “what goes around, comes around”–Karma!

The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!

Trump Appointments That Declare “War”: Health And Human Services, Education, Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, Interior, Justice, Energy

Donald Trump has made a horrific list of cabinet and other appointments that have declared “war” on domestic concerns that extend from the time of Theodore Roosevelt through to Barack Obama, with particularly great threat to the heritage of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

The appointment of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services endangers Social Security. Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps–affecting the poor, elderly and sick.

The appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education endangers public education at all level, and concerns about college debt burdens for millions of college and university students, and promotes the “Christianization” and charter school movement against American traditions of two hundred years.

The appointment of Tom Puzder as Secretary of Labor endangers the whole labor movement advancements of the past century, including unionization, minimum wage, sick leave, overtime, and safety conditions.

The appointment of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and of Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior endangers the environment, and our national park and national forest system in massive ways that are incalculable.

The appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the United States endangers the enforcement of civil liberties and civil rights, and will be particularly dangerous to the rights of racial minorities, women, and gays and lesbians.

The appointment of Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy endangers the nation, as Perry is totally ignorant of science and nuclear energy, and wanted to destroy the department, based on his statements during Presidential debates in 2011 and since.

We are faced with a nightmare scenario, as probably the most that might be expected is the blocking of potentially one or two of these nominees at the most, but the clear cut possibility that all of them will be confirmed by the Republican majority in the US Senate, and the Democrats will not be able to stop any of them from destroying our domestic future!

Environmental Advancements Under Threat From Scott Pruitt And Ryan Zinke At Environmental Protection Agency And Interior Department!

Two of the most alarming appointments, of most of Donald Trump’s selections, for his top cabinet and agency personnel, are Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency he wishes to destroy; and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, a cabinet office which is supposed to promote National Parks and conservation, but which Zinke favors industrial development, limitation of national park expansion, and the rights of hunters over wildlife.

These men are like foxes in the chicken coop, out to destroy a century of conservation and environmental advancements that occurred under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

The refusal of these two men to accept that global warming and climate change are real is also an alarm bell ringing in the night, and both these men need to be blocked, if at all possible, from taking their posts. If just a few Republican Senators on committees or on the floor of the Senate oppose these people, they can be defeated with the help of Democrats in the Senate.

It is as if Donald Trump is out to destroy the entire American past, as he is ignorant of science and nature, and has picked the absolute worst people for these two crucial posts, while other Republican Presidents had respect for the importance of the environment and science.

Vice President Mike Pence: Could Be Most Engaged And Active Vice President Yet!

It seems more likely by the day that Vice President Elect Mike Pence could be the most engaged and active Vice President yet!

The Vice Presidency began to grow under Richard Nixon under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, because Ike was willing to delegate authority, and Nixon was smart and ambitious.

Nixon was the first Vice President to play a major role in policy making.

Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; Dick Cheney under George W. Bush; and Joe Biden under Barack Obama all added to the office of Vice President, but now it seems as if Donald Trump, who does not have a clue on anything in government, may be leaning on Mike Pence, who served 12 years in the House of Representatives, before becoming Indiana Governor over the past four years.

The good thing about Pence is that he is smart, intelligent, experienced in government, fully qualified, if need be, to take over the Presidency.

He is not Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, who was the VP running mate of John McCain.

But despite his abilities, we must realize that Pence is a theocrat, who always says that his evangelical Christian faith is the most important thing in his life, and utilizes his right wing Christian beliefs to oppose abortion rights and gay rights in a vehement fashion. He also does not believe in climate change and science generally, and also promoted the idea that tobacco does not cause lung cancer, a preposterous idea.

So one would not wish to see Pence end up in the Presidency by plan or by circumstance, but in the meanwhile, he could be the single most important player in the Donald Trump administration over the next four years.

Hillary Clinton Acceptance Speech The Culmination Of A Successful Convention

Hillary Clinton delivered a great acceptance speech yesterday, the culmination of a successful Democratic National Convention, making her officially the first woman ever nominated for President by a major political party.

She gave a speech which emphasized a progressive agenda, to continue the successes of Barack Obama, and to move to emphasize such issues as a $15 minimum wage; free tuition for public colleges for those whose families earn less than $125,00 income; working toward criminal justice reform; promoting a more aggressive climate change agenda; promotion of civil rights equality for groups that have been denied it under law; improvement of ObamaCare; investment in infrastructure; the belief in science; advocacy of strengthening our alliances with foreign nations including NATO; strong commitment to overcoming ISIL (ISIS) and other terrorist groups in the world, among other proposals.

Clinton came across as genuine, sincere, committed to taking on much of Bernie Sanders’s agenda, and while not the accomplished orator that her husband Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are, was extremely effective.

The speech of Marine General John Allen denouncing Donald Trump, and the Muslim father, Khizr Khan, speaking about the sacrifice of his son in Iraq in 2004 and asking if Trump knew what the Constitution says, were other standout moments of the last night of the convention, and a strong case against the stability and qualifications and ethics of Trump was emphasized by all speakers.

This is a terrifying time, but to imagine that Donald Trump could be elected President should motivate everyone to register to vote; lobby their friends, family members and work colleagues to get out there to vote; and work to get people to the polls at election time.

For Trump to win the Presidency would be the biggest disaster in American history since September 11, and cannot be allowed to occur.

Would Mike Pence Help Donald Trump And Be An Asset? NO!

Mike Pence is said to be Donald Trump’s choice for Vice President.

The Indiana Governor brings his comparative youth at age 57 compared to Trump who is 70.

He brings 12 years of Congressional experience and leadership of the Republican Conference for two years, as well as four years as Governor of a potential “Swing” State, which went to Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

He is a less dynamic person, not the type to seek controversy, and very different in that sense than Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich.

But his hard line social conservative views, which make him popular with the Christian Right, is not going to help Donald Trump win the Presidency.

Pence allowed the passage and signing of a bill that discriminated against gays and lesbians in public accommodations, and then had to ask for a revision of it, when corporations decided to oppose it and moved to stop expansion into the state, a blow to the Indiana economy. In backing off a bit, he alienated the most extreme social conservatives, who are anti abortion, anti gay rights and anti gay marriage, deny climate change, and work against women being equal in a family unit to their husbands.

We are not going back to the 1950s, or to a white supremacist America, where minorities have little input or concern, and where whites claim they are being discriminated against.

This election will be the 1950s white dominated America pre civil rights, pre woman;s rights, pre gay rights, pre environmental movement, pre immigration reform America against 21st century America with all of the advancements in human rights and science that have occurred in the past half century!

Climate Change Policy Under Ronald Reagan And George H. W. Bush Now Dismissed By Republican Party And Its Presidential Candidates

Both President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush, when President 22-35 years ago,  were well aware of the growing dangers of climate change, and spoke up on the issue and called for changes in policy.

But since the elder Bush left the White House in 1993, the Republican Party has turned against science and reality, and the party is strongly and vehemently against any action on the growing environmental crisis, undermining any efforts to deal with the growing evidence that the globe is threatened in the next 25-50 years and beyond.  Republican Presidential candidates have refused to address the issue, and Congressional leaders ignore it completely.

Lack of action will lead to an ever growing wave of revolution, terror, and bloodshed as those who are already poor and deprived rise up in reaction to the reality that climate change will affect them more directly and sooner, without the ability to escape the horrors of flooding, drought, and the effects of growing temperatures affecting hurricanes, tornadoes, and other weather phenomenon.

It is clear that action must be taken to prevent the energy industries—oil, coal, natural gas—from focusing only on profits, and ignoring the long range effects of their industries on climate and weather changes.  The promotion of wind, solar energy and safe nuclear energy, and the newest technologies to prevent massive damage from the energy industries, must be pursued!

This is one of the top challenges facing the next President, and it is evident that only if a Democratic President is in the White House in 2017. will anything be done on this crucial matter!

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!

Vaccinations And Republican Doctors: Total Quackery Views Of Dr. Benjamin Carson And Dr. Rand Paul!

One of the worst aspects of the CNN Republican debate on Thursday night was the discussion about the supposed dangers of vaccinations for children, which many uninformed people and conspiracy theorists think causes autism.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but when Donald Trump, a non doctor, makes it an issue in the debate, gullible people tend to take it as gospel!

And when Dr. Benjamin Carson, a pediatric neurologist, and Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, say that vaccinations could be dangerous and are unwise to some extent, that is alarming, as the spread of serious diseases that were once overcome by vaccinations in the past 50 years, now become a danger to public health!

If some children are not vaccinated properly and on a schedule, that can lead to an epidemic, as happened with measles in California, recently.

What is it about the Republican Party that they reject medical knowledge widely accepted, with even medical doctors who are candidates for the Presidency, acting like quacks?

And then add the rejection of science—refusal to believe in evolution, and denial of global warming and climate change—and we are back to medieval views of medicine and science in the 21st century!