September 11

Pearl Harbor Attack 75th Anniversary: Reality Sets In, Now Threatened By President Who Has Zero Understanding Of International Relations!

Today is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which crippled our navy, and brought America into World War II.

This was the greatest military disaster in American history, with over 2,400 soldiers, sailors, and airmen killed, and ended the isolationism of the United States.

From that point on, it was clearly understood by Presidents and Congresses of both political parties that we needed to have strong alliances with other nations, and that putting America First, the old line of the isolationists, was detrimental to our security.

But we now have an incoming President, who touts America First, and is upending all traditional American foreign policy doctrines, to our detriment and potential danger.

A man who was willing to accept a Purple Heart from a soldier, and avoided military service on flimsy grounds, and thought being in a military high school was equivalent of military service and sacrifice, is now going to be Commander in Chief of the armed forces, something to worry about.

The reality of Pearl Harbor, and the more recent reality of September 11, must not be forgotten, but international relations is now again in danger of massive crisis, as our unstable, unhinged, ill informed, and Twitter provoked future President makes the whole world situation much more unpredictable, a threat to our military and to our entire population.

The Greatest Generation, as the World War II generation, rapidly declining in numbers, is known, needs to be remembered and respected on this solemn anniversary, and Americans must make clear they will NOT tolerate a narrow minded, isolationist foreign policy in the 21st century!

The Health Issue With Two “Senior Citizen” Presidential Nominees

This blogger has discussed on this blog and on History News Network and in other social media posts of his concern about having two older nominees as the final competitors for the Presidency, as Donald Trump would be older than Ronald Reagan at inauguration, and Hillary Clinton would be only about eight months younger than Ronald Reagan at inauguration.

No one wants to say that older nominees, those who are “senior citizens”, are at greater danger of having health issues or even facing death, than younger nominees, but that is a basic reality.

What is now required after the near fainting and buckling of Hillary Clinton at the September 11 commemoration event in New York City is the demand and requirement that both Clinton and Donald Trump MUST be expected to give FULL details on their health, and that should include a basic psychological testing as well, as Donald Trump’s behavior and statements make one wonder about his mental stability.

Full transparency is required, but it also should not be demagogically exploited by Donald Trump and his surrogates, which, unfortunately, is guaranteed to occur in the coming days and weeks, making it a major campaign issue.

The now emerging news that Hillary Clinton has Pneumonia, which was diagnosed on Friday, complicates the issue of the first scheduled Presidential debate to weeks from Monday, whether it will have to be delayed or canceled. And Pneumonia is a serious issue, and right now, we have to hope for a full recovery for Hillary Clinton, and no one should play politics with this.

It is clear that Hillary Clinton wanted to follow through on honoring the dead from September 11, and that is why she showed up today, although having the diagnosis on Friday.

But knowing Donald Trump, do not be surprised that he will exploit it in a disgusting way, which should, if people are decent, backfire on him, whether it is done indirectly by Rudy Giuliani or some other despicable surrogate, or by the candidate himself.

Possible Scenarios Whereby Donald Trump “Could” Be Elected President On November 8!

It seems clear that Donald Trump has very little chance to be elected President on November 8, 2016.

However, there are possible scenarios whereby the “impossible” could occur, god forbid.

What are they?

1. America experiences a horrific terrorist attack similar to September 11, and the population panics and votes for Trump, as if he has a magic potion to stop terrorism. However, after September 11, there was unity around George W. Bush, so hard to judge the reaction of the American people.

2. Hillary Clinton suddenly is burdened further by release of emails from her private server in a manner that makes her looks horribly scandalous and corrupt to such an extent that it changes public opinion and polls dramatically in a short time.

3. Hillary Clinton suffers a serious health crisis, rumored but not true, but if it happened, it could harm her campaign.

4. The Trump supporters turn out to be mostly hidden, unwilling to indicate they would vote for him, and suddenly we become aware that millions of more people are Trump supporters on Election Day, something highly unlikely but conceivable.

5. Hillary Clinton supporters, so confident that she cannot lose, choose not to vote, to stay home, and therefore her vote totals are much less than thought to be likely.

6. A massive economic collapse, such as in September 2008, occurs, and causes harm to the image of Barack Obama, and indirectly, his party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

7. Massive voter fraud occurs, and blockage of people attempting to vote happens, by intimidation and threats in Democratic strongholds, with Trump groups of white supremacists appear at polling stations, and are not stopped by local police. We know that voter fraud is usually rare, but has happened more in Republican won elections than Democratic won elections over a long period of time, and Republican Secretaries of State in many states have done everything possible to block voting by minorities and the poor, and even though federal courts have intervened to stop this, there still is the possibility of trouble ahead that could harm the Hillary Clinton political campaign.

Donald Trump, The Conspiracy Theorist, With Innumerable “Skeletons” In His Closet!

Donald Trump is a master of conspiracy theories, including:

Muslims in Hew Jersey applauded the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and is a Muslim. (The Birther Conspiracy)

Mexico is conspiring against the US, and sending drug gangs and criminals into the US.

Ted Crux’s father, Rafael Cruz, conspired with Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate John F. Kennedy.

Vince Foster, an aide to the Clintons, did not commit suicide in 1993, but instead was murdered on order of the Clintons, as he had dangerous information on their activities.

Hillary Clinton “enabled” Bill Clinton to commit abuse on numerous women, and set out to destroy those women’s lives in the aftermath.

These and other conspiracy theories are the work of right wing extremists who will stop at nothing to defame the Clintons and President Obama.

Meanwhile, Trump has numerous “skeletons” in his closet, but is outraged at any investigation of them, and uses reports on his “skeletons” as the excuse for his vicious personal attacks on the Clintons, Obama, Muslims, and Mexicans, along with innumerable personal attacks on everyone else imaginable!

The “Dynasties” Under Attack: The Bushes Done, The Clintons?

This morning, it is clear that the Bush Dynasty is history, with Jeb Bush’s poor performance in the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary, and his announcement of his withdrawal from the Presidential race.

A year ago, it seemed obvious that he would likely be the GOP Presidential candidate, but the entrance of Donald Trump eight months ago destroyed that possibility, and once Trump called Jeb “low energy”, Jeb was befuddled what to do in response.  It took him a long time to mount a serious attack, and it was too late.

Jeb was supposed to be the Republican nominee in 2000, the favored younger son, smarter and more knowledgeable than his brother George W, and Jeb had avoided being the “black sheep” of the family with the alcoholism and drug use of George W making his parents very unhappy with him.

But Jeb lost the 1994 Florida gubernatorial election by 60,000 votes, most of the margin for Governor Lawton Chiles being in South Florida, while George W,  despite a pitiful debate performance against Texas Governor Ann Richards, was able to win the Texas Governorship in the same year, 1994.

One will always have to wonder whether Jeb would have been able to be elected as George W was in 2000; whether he would have won on his own power in his home state, instead of having a Supreme Court case to win the Sunshine State and the election; and whether he would have acted differently around September 11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina.

Jeb was a lost opportunity, one of many who wanted the Presidency; were considered serious contenders; and yet lost the chance, while lesser candidates won.

In this category, we could, in the past half century, put Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968; Ted Kennedy in 1980; Al Gore in 2000; John McCain in 2000; and Hillary Clinton in 2008, along with Jeb Bush in 2000 and now in 2016.

And now, the question is whether Hillary Clinton can overcome Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Presidential nomination, after failing to overcome Barack Obama eight years ago.  Or will she, like Jeb, expected to win, end up failing, as Jeb has done?

In any case, George H. W.  and Barbara Bush may, very well, live to the next inauguration and beyond, at age 92 and 91 respectively in January 2017, but they will NOT see the inauguration of a second son to the Presidency.

The other question that arises is whether Bill Clinton, age 70 by the time of the inauguration in 2017, see his wife, on her second try, now 16 years, not 8, since he left the Oval Office, become President, or have the ultimate failure, despite all evidence that she would become the first woman President?

We shall see soon enough over the next number of months!

In Crisis Moments, Should An American President Resign, As Reckless Republicans Are Suggesting? Of Course Not!

Think of how many times a crisis has arisen in American history during an administration of innumerable Presidents!

Should James Madison have resigned as he fled the capital as the British invaded Washington, DC  in August 1814 during the War of 1812?

Should Abraham Lincoln have resigned when various times in the Civil War the Confederacy won major military battles from 1861-1863?

Should Franklin D. Roosevelt have resigned when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941?

Should John F. Kennedy have resigned when Russian missiles were discovered in Cuba in 1962?

Should Ronald Reagan have resigned after the loss of 252 Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983, due to Islamic terrorism?

Should George W. Bush have resigned after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Al Qaeda?

In these and innumerable other situations, of course the answer is NO!

But now, suddenly, reckless Republicans want Barack Obama to resign due to the Paris terror attacks, which they blame Obama for, even though ISIL (ISIS) is the outgrowth of the disastrous and unnecessary Iraq War waged by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

This demand for resignation occurred after “Jihadi John”, who slaughtered foreign hostages by knife, including Americans; and a leading figure in ISIL (ISIS) in Libya, were killed by American air strikes, but before the tragic Paris terror attacks, as if the Republicans have s simple answer to the threat of Islamic terrorism!

So in a crisis moment, the nation should rally around the President, as is typical in most cases historically.  But even when not unifying around the President, no leader should bow to political attacks, and instead go to work and face the crises that arise, as so many Presidents have done throughout American history!

CNN Reminds Us Of “The Endless Election” Tonight At 9 PM

CNN tonight will have an hour presentation, reminding us of the Presidential Election of 2000, entitled “The Endless Election”.

Many Americans, younger than college age students, have no real memory or knowledge of this transformative election, in which, for the fourth time in American history, the loser of the national popular vote won the Electoral College and the Presidency.

George W. Bush joined John Quincy Adams in the Presidential Election of 1824; Rutherford B. Hayes in the Presidential Election of 1876; and Benjamin Harrison in the Presidential Election of 1888, in that unique circumstance and quirk of the Electoral College system set up by the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Bush turned out be a major disaster in many ways, including the September 11, 2001 attacks; the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003; Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and the Great  Recession of 2008-2009.

No one is saying all of these tragedies would have been avoided with a President Al Gore, but most observers agree that Bush will rank in the bottom ten of all Presidents for the long run.

The idea that “hanging chads” in Florida would cause a 36 day election crisis, until the Supreme Court controversially intervened on a straight party line vote to grant Bush the win in Florida by 537 popular votes, still is upsetting to many, and one has to wonder how the Al Gore contribution to the Presidency would have changed history, and affected America long term!

New Presidential Record Of Survival In Office, Surpassing 1789-1841!

For the first nearly 52 years of the Republic, every President survived his term of office, from George Washington until William Henry Harrison.

Once Harrison died in office, we had a President die in every generation, with seven of the eight dying, having been elected in a zero election year–Harrison 1841, Abraham Lincoln 1865, James A. Garfield 1881, William McKinley 1901, Warren G. Harding 1923, Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945, and John F. Kennedy 1963, and joined by Zachary Taylor, dying in 1850, a zero year after being elected in 1848.

This became known as the “Zero Election Year Syndrome.”  It occurred seven straight zero election years from 1840 to 1960.  It was finally overcome when Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981, and when George W. Bush avoided tragedy on September 11 and throughout his Presidency, despite some serious threats.

Since JFK died, we have not had a Presidential death since, almost 52 years, although Richard Nixon did resign from office in 1974, even that being 41 years ago.

The question is how long can this new record of Presidential survival last, in a time of international terrorism and domestic turmoil.

There have been more death threats against Barack Obama than any President since Abraham Lincoln.

The last President to have a serious threat was Ronald Reagan, shot and seriously wounded in 1981, 34 years ago.

But every living President has had death threats, before, during, and after being in office.

A discussion of all these assassinations and threats are covered in my new book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield), out since August 15, and available at the R & L website with a 30 percent discount offer, or at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books A Million websites.

This author has done more than 25 radio interviews, and will be interviewed by C Span Q & A Brian Lamb next week, and the hour long interview will be available to be seen on C Span One a few weeks later at 8 pm, 11 pm on a Sunday night and 6 am the next Monday morning Eastern time, and will become part of the permanent interviews of Brian Lamb at C Span.org, available for interviewing anytime!

September 11: 14 Years And Counting!

It is hard to believe, but it is now 14 years since September 11, a day which will live in the memories of every American old enough to remember.

September 11 transformed America permanently, and it has led to a constant war on terror and terrorists, which will go on endlessly, sad to say, as the terrorists are out there, and ready to take action at any time.

September 11 has made America a security conscious nation which has limited our freedoms, and made us a nation always on the edge.

It will be a part of our lives for eternity, as December 7, 1941 is for those still alive who remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

But September 11 was a time of death of civilians, not military personnel, and it was in New York City and Washington, DC on the mainland, not in Hawaii, three thousand miles away from the mainland of America.

Despite all of the divisiveness politically over the past 14 years, for a short time back then, there was unity, and we have been fortunate to avoid another September 11 attack, but must be constantly vigilant.

Today is a day to remember the sacrifices of the police and firefighters who gave their lives that September morning, and who remain in our hearts with a feeling of love and respect!

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders: An Embarrassment To The Republican Party’s History: Part I

With Hillary Clinton having begun her active campaign for the Presidency yesterday, it is time to begin a serious examination of the “Clown Bus” group of Republican Presidential contenders, all of which believe they are qualified to be her opponent in the Presidential Election of 2016. The vast majority are totally pitiful!

We have Chris Christie who faces possible indictment at some point on the “Bridgegate Scandal” about the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey; who has a very low public opinion rating in his state; who has totally messed up the finances of New Jersey; who has a belligerent, bullyish personality; and who would be a health crisis in the making, with his extreme weight matching that of President William Howard Taft, but Christie not having the intelligence and accomplishments of the 27th President.

We have Rick Perry, who is actually under indictment for corruption in Texas, making him the first indicted candidate for President in American history; who was a total disaster in his 2012 Presidential run, not being able to remember which agencies of the federal government he wished to eliminate; who has new glasses in the past year, which make him look intellectual, but still do not make him intellectual in reality; who promoted the idea of Texas secession from the Union a few years ago; and who has prevented more poor people from having health care under Medicaid than any other Republican governor.

We have George Pataki, who is more moderate in his record as New York Governor than any of his opponents, but despite September 11, is hardly remembered, while NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani is still someone noticed and remembered. Pataki, whose most notable accomplishment was to defeat Mario Cuomo’s fourth term bid for Governor in 1994, has absolutely no chance to be the nominee, and one wonders why he did not try for the Presidency closer to his leaving the Governorship in 2006, such as in 2008 or 2012, rather than waiting till now.

We have Bobby Jindal, who has been a total disaster for Louisiana government; has tied himself to right wing evangelical Christianity in an extreme way; has destroyed the public school system in his state; has an extremely low public opinion rating in his state; and has made many reckless statements that one wonders about his sanity at times, including promoting the study of creationism in science classes. He also comes across as extremely mean spirited and intolerant!

We have Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and seemed moderate at the time, but since then, went to Fox News Channel as a talk show host, and it seemed to infect his brain. Huckabee has become a right wing whacko, evoking extremist Christianity; making ridiculous and divisive statements about women, gay rights and marriage; and embracing defense of reality show crazies, along with asserting he would not enforce Supreme Court decisions that he does not agree with, a shocking sense of lawlessness by anyone who would wish to be President!

The author will comment on other contenders in a Part II and Part III over the short haul, and then make clear which candidates have real legitimacy!