Secretary Of Labor

Mitch McConnell, Corrupt Senate Majority Leader, Who Has No Concern For His Kentucky Constituents

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is certainly a very skilled politician, but he is also extremely corrupt.

McConnell declared war on Barack Obama in 2009, making clear there would be no cooperation with the new President on anything, forcing the President to settle for ObamaCare, only accomplished by united Democratic support, rather than a public option or Medicare for all, which would have been far better a result.

McConnell refused to permit Obama to make a statement about Russian collusion being clearly a problem in 2016, and yet, McConnell knew it was going on, but was cooperating with Donald Trump, even though in many ways, he disliked the Trump behavior and tactics.

Then, his wife, Elaine Chao, former Labor Secretary under George W. Bush, was named Secretary of Transportation for President Trump.

Chao, as Labor Secretary, was very anti labor in policies, and now is working to undermine Amtrak, the only transportation system for many rural communities, the ones who voted for Donald Trump, but now are in danger of losing their link to the outside world by public transportation, helping to harm the rural economy even further.

And McConnell is trying to force through a complete end of ObamaCare, including Medicaid, which benefits so many of his rural white constituents in Kentucky. Fortunately, it seems likely his mission will fail, and he will have to deal with the Democrats on fixing ObamaCare.

McConnell has no principles, no morality, no ethics, and could not concern himself about the poor whites in his state, and this is outrageous and unconscionable.

He is just a power player with no heart, and is, therefore, clearly a very corrupt Majority Leader, who will go down in history in a very negative way, as having undermined the health and economic survival of those who stupidly voted for him six times for the US Senate!

One Month Of Donald Trump: Total Alienation, Disarray, Anarchy And Mean Spiritedness

Donald Trump yesterday reached the 31 days of our shortest term President, William Henry Harrison.

In that month, Trump has managed to divide the nation into two camps more divided than ever since the Civil War 150 years ago.

Sure, we had the controversies under Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

But the level of political discord is now worse than ever, and the fear that violence and bloodshed might break out is growing.

Trump has bitterly attacked the judiciary, the news media, the intelligence community, and the bureaucracy in all federal agencies, and in so doing, is creating total alienation, disarray, anarchy, and mean spiritedness.

Trump has been stopped temporarily in his Muslim ban, but is promising another travel ban. He is moving ahead on the Mexico Wall, which will cost tens of billions of dollars, adding to the national debt.

Trump has started a deportation policy which is destroying the lives of undocumented immigrants, who in the vast majority have not broken the law beyond entering illegally years ago, and have contributed to America and brought up children here, and now are having their lives destroyed.

Trump has seen his National Security Adviser forced out, and his Labor Secretary nominee backing out due to his disgraceful record as an employer, and his abusive relationship with his former wife.

Trump has had trouble recruiting for many jobs in the federal government hierarchy, due to his reckless behavior and tweets, and has lied more in one month than any President, and accepts conspiracy theories and demonstrates total ignorance of facts and truth.

Trump can be seen as a revolutionary, using an axe to destroy the federal government, and having dangerous and extremist advisers, including Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, who are Fascist oriented demagogues who believe in destroying the record of accomplishments of Democratic and Republican Presidents from TR through Obama.

Trump Cabinet By Far The Oldest In American History: The Senior Citizen Dominance!

One unnoticed issue about the Donald Trump Cabinet is that the 45th President has, by far, the oldest group of Cabinet officers in all of American history.

A total of 11 people around Trump are from age 62 up to 79 as they take over their positions, making our government one run by “senior citizens”.

Understand that this blogger is technically a “senior citizen”, but he also is not taking on the burden of a high pressure, burdensome job working for a President of the United States, and to have the vast majority of those in charge of our future being those who have, probably, no more than 10-15 years left, in a natio in which half the population is under 35, brings up the issue of whether it is proper that so many “senior citizens”, who will not be personally affected long term, should be in charge of government policy that affects 325 million Americans.

Here are the cabinet members who fit into this category:

Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 62
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, 64
Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor, 64
Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, 64
Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 65
Andrew Puzder, Secretary of Labor, 66
Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, 66
General John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security, 66
General James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, 66
Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, 70
Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, 79

And Donald Trump is 70 years and 7 months, 8 months older than Ronald Reagan, when he took the oath of office.

It must be admitted that Hillary Clinton is 69; Joe Biden is 74; and Bernie Sanders is 75, but it is highly likely that they would have brought in a much younger group of Cabinet officers.

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!

Totally Inexperienced And Unqualified Appointees In Trump Administration: The Triumph Of The Neophytes

Donald Trump is a neophyte, someone with zero government experience related to the position he competed for, and he has moved toward bringing total neophytes into his close circle.

Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State
Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy
Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

Only Rick Perry has been in government, as Texas Governor, but he is no expert on energy issues, and is best remembered for being unable to name the Department of Energy as one of the government cabinet agencies he wanted to eliminate, were he elected President. And he received Cs, Ds, and Fs in science courses at Texas A & M University!

The other three other than Tillerson are out to destroy the purpose of their government cabinet departments, and Tillerson is a pure corporate guy, who has no background in foreign policy at all, except that he has made business deals with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump is destroying the whole concept of experience and competence in these and many other appointments he has made, the worst group ever of appointees of any modern President!

The Evolution Of Women In American Politics: 1916-2016 And Beyond!

In 1916, exactly a century ago, the first woman, a Republican, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, was elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1932, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, a Democrat, became the first woman to be elected to the United States Senate.

In 1933, Frances Perkins of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman to be a member of the President’s cabinet, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1964, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, a Republican, became the first woman to run for President.

In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York, a Democrat, became the first black woman to run for President.

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor of Arizona, a Republican, became the first woman appointed to the US Supreme Court.

In 1984, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman Vice Presidential nominee of a major party.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman chosen as the Presidential nominee of a major party, and will become the first woman elected President in the next 24 hours!

And the fight for women’s right to vote began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, and only in 1920, did women gain the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

So Hillary Clinton will be our president when the centennial of women suffrage comes about in 2020!

And this all began with Susan B. Anthony, arrested for trying to vote in 1872!

After So Much Vice Presidential Speculation, New Names Show Up!

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are busy keeping us guessing as to who will be their Vice Presidential choices.

After so much speculation, it turns out, according to latest hints, that others not originally considered likely choices, are surging ahead.

So for the Republicans, Indiana Governor and former Congressman Mike Pence seems like the front runner, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions also becoming part of the discussion.

And for the Democrats, suddenly, Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack seems like a possible choice, with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland and Virginia Senator, former Governor, and former Mayor of Richmond Tim Kaine as other possible choices.

Compared to bigger names, such as Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie on the Republican side, or Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro on the Democratic side, these potential choices seem less exciting and dramatic, but that does not mean that there is not an argument for them.

Pence is less controversial than other VP choices for the Republicans, although he signed a bill against the civil rights of gays and lesbians in public accommodations that had to be changed under protest, and with many businesses canceling plans to expand into Indiana, and with him concerned about a gubernatorial race that looks very difficult to win. He is a hard right wing conservative Republican who the Christian right loves, which makes him unable to expand the base of the Republican Party. But Pence does not have a big mouth, and is not considered a bully, as Gingrich and Christie are.

Sessions is the typical Southern conservative very similar to past Southern Democrats up to the 1960s, very hard line on immigration, but the first US Senator to endorse Trump. He is not appealing personally as Pence is.

Tom Vilsack was actually considered on the short list for VP for John Kerry in 2004 and for Hillary Clinton, had she won the nomination of the Democrats in 2008, and is a pleasant enough fellow, and is from a “swing” state.

Tom Perez is Hispanic, Dominican heritage, and also very well liked by Hillary Clinton, and a very effective Secretary of Labor for Barack Obama.

Both Vilsack and Perez as cabinet members do not endanger any Senate seats, which is a plus for both of them.

Kaine was on the short list for VP in 2008, and is well liked, and has been Mayor of Richmond, as well as Governor and Senator, and also Democratic National Chairman, and also well liked by Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, with a Democratic governor in Virginia, an appointment to replace him would be a Democrat. And to top it off, Kaine speaks perfect Spanish, as this blogger has seen on the news reports, a very impressive plus, considering that 55 million Americans, out of 320 million speak or are od Spanish origin.

Trying to guess the ultimate choices for Vice President has become more complex and difficult, so we shall have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to witness what transpires!

British Betting Odds On Democratic Vice Presidential Nominees

If one goes by British betting odds, the list of potential Democratic Vice Presidential nominees is as follows:

In front is Julian Castro, former San Antonio Mayor, who is presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; Virginia Senator Tim Kaine; Secretary of Labor Tom Perez (from Maryland); and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (who was in the Democratic Presidential race).

After those five, the odds on others, in their order, are New Jersey Senator Cory Booker; Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown; and then Minnesota Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar.

Looking at the list, the “safest” choices to make are Castro, Perez, O’Malley, Franken, and Klobuchar, as the first two are cabinet members and not potentially giving up a Senate seat; O’Malley is out of office; and Franken and Klobucar come from a solidly “blue” state that has a Democratic Governor able to appoint a Democratic replacement were either to be elected Vice President.

Warren and Booker come from states with Republican Governors, who would be able to appoint a Republican temporarily as their replacement, while Kaine and Brown comes from “swing states” with a Republican governor in Ohio, and a Democratic Governor in Virginia now under federal investigation in a state which would be Republican if not for northern Virginia’s strong Democratic bent.

The Likelihood Of An Historic Vice Presidential Nomination For The Democrats: A Woman Or A Person Of Minority Heritage

Speculation has begun about who Democrat Hillary Clinton’s potential choices for Vice President might be, but it seems more and more likely that it will be an historic choice, likely NOT to be a white male, but rather a woman or a leader of minority heritage.

It is true that Democrat Walter Mondale selected New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and that Republican John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008, but this time around, the possible candidates for a woman are much stronger choices.

If one is considering a woman, which some think is “radical” to do, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is seen as the most likely choice, but her fame and her age work against her, and it would make more sense to pick a woman who is substantially younger, and could be a potential successor eight years from now–such as Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota or Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State.

If Hillary wants to select someone from a minority heritage, the best would be Latinos, such as former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; or Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland; and if African American, the best would be New Jersey Senator Cory Booker or former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

In another blog entry forthcoming tomorrow, we will consider white males as potential Vice Presidential nominees, with quite a long list of such candidates!

80 Years Of Social Security And Counting: The Most Successful “Safety Net” Program In American History!

On August 14, 1935 the Social Security Act became law during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Senator Robert F. Wagner of New York and Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins key figures in promoting its passage.

For the first time, there was the pledge of providing senior citizens with some financial support in their later years.

Additionally, widows and orphans, and the disabled would be covered under the law.

The US was behind Germany, Great Britain, and France, industrialized nations which had enacted such legislation decades earlier.

There was bipartisan support from progressive Republicans and from Democrats, but more conservative Republicans set as their goal to destroy Social Security, as early as the Presidential Election of 1936.

But Social Security has survived eight decades, and has done so much good for the nation, and its most vulnerable citizens.

Even now, there are proposals to change Social Security, as was done in 1983, by a deal between President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, raising the retirement to age 66 and 67 for full benefits, depending on year of birth.

Now there is the call to raise the retirement age further, and cut benefits over the long haul, bitterly opposed by progressives and Democrats. Also, George W. Bush tried to privatize part of Social Security, which failed of enactment in 2005, but again is being promoted by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

The tax base has been raised, but even now, only the first $118,500 is taxed, and many feel there should be no limit on the tax base, as that allows those who make much higher incomes to avoid further taxation, and putting the burden on the average American who does not earn more than $118,500.

The point is that by raising the tax base to unlimited income would insure the long term survival of Social Security.

It is essential to insure that the most successful “Safety Net” program in American history continued to survive and prosper!