Tea Party Movement

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!

The Biggest Winner From Republican Victories In Midterm Elections: Governor Scott Walker Of Wisconsin

Now that the dust has settled on the Midterm Elections of 2014, it is clear, at least for now, that the biggest winner from the results is Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Walker has now won the Governorship twice, in 2010 and 2014, along with a forced recall election in 2012, after he convinced the Republican controlled legislature to end collective bargaining with public employee unions, including teachers.

Despite his record of cutting education funding dramatically, and of refusal to accept Medicaid expansion for the poor of his state, Walker was able to overcome progressive forces who organized against him twice in two years.

Walker became linked with the Koch Brothers, and with voter suppression efforts, and became regarded by many on the progressive side, as the worst Tea Party Governor bar none, but still he won, and he now hints that he will seek the GOP Presidential nomination.

The question is whether he has enough clout and influence to mount a serious campaign, but it is clear that, in theory, he COULD win Wisconsin, if he ended up as the Republican Presidential nominee.

But to assume that he would have a real chance of winning the Presidency seems like an extremely long shot at this point!

The Republican “Insane Asylum” Rears Its Ugly Head!

The Republican Party is reveling in its midterm victories, but the victory will be short lived, as already, the GOP is self destructing in its reaction to the expected move of President Obama on immigration reform sometime soon.

Talk of impeachment of President Obama is rampant, along with threats to shut down the government once again, even though that was harmful to the Republicans, and hurt the American economy.

Obama is also infuriating right wingers with his plan to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, if the Senate approves the construction of this environmentally damaging project, which will create few jobs, and contradict treaties with native American tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota.

And potential Presidential candidates are acting as if they are patients in the “insane asylum”!

One example is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who advocates that we promote the kind of racial harmony that existed when Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were alive! Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and then the Christian Coalition, and Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina, did just the opposite of what Santorum claims, and makes us realize that Santorum is from a parallel universe!

Another example is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was perceived as moderate conservative in 2008, but then sold his soul by going to Fox News Channel, and has said reckless and dangerous things since. He is now on a speech tour stating that America is moving toward becoming Nazi Germany under Barack Obama!

Interesting and crazy statement, as it is precisely people like Santorum and Huckabee, and Fox News Channel, the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party Movement, who are moving us closer to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, with their reckless attacks on Obama.

And yet we thought that Obama was a Communist, a Socialist, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, a black power racist–and now, suddenly, he is on the other side of the political spectrum with Nazism and Fascism, even though he is African American, and Nazis and Fascists would be out to kill people of so called “inferior” races!

This demonstrates how nuts and looney the GOP is becoming, and they will discover that their extremism, racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia will destroy their Senate majority and chances for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond!

Ohio The Crucial State In Presidential Elections Since 1964! Republicans, Be Aware Of That Reality!

Ohio, the “Buckeye” state, is the crucial state in Presidential elections since 1964, with the winner in Ohio going on to win the election, and reside in the White House!

This makes it essential for the Republican Party to take this into consideration, and to nominate an Ohioan for the Presidency in 2016. It also makes it essential for Democrats to fight tooth and nail to win this state, although they could win the Electoral College without Ohio.

A recent assessment of the Electoral College theorizes that the Democrats may have the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency in 2016, as the so called “blue” states add up to 257 electoral votes, including all of New England and the Northeast, down to the District of Columbia; the Midwest states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota; and the Western states of California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Add Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, and the fact that the state has gone “blue” in Senate and gubernatorial elections recently, and is influenced by the power of the Northern Virginia (DC suburbs) population, and you have the precise number of electoral votes needed.

But of course, the desire is not to barely win, so Ohio is crucial for Democrats, but also Republicans!

This author has said before that, therefore, the best choice for the GOP Presidential nomination is either Governor John Kasich or Senator Rob Portman, more than any others, but not even certain that either will run for the Presidency, or do well in the caucuses and primaries, starting in January 2016!

Kasich has accepted Medicaid funding for the poor in his state, and Portman has backed gay marriage after his son came out as gay, and these factors hurt both with the Tea Party base in the Republican Party.

On the other hand, Kasich has a long record of Congressional service in the past, and headed the House Budget Committee in the 1990s; and Portman was Budget Director under President George W. Bush.

Both are mild mannered, not the type to make outrageous or ridiculous or extremist statements, and both seem competent to serve as President, more than most of the other potential alternatives.

The GOP National Convention will be in Cleveland, and there is a good chance of the Democratic National Convention being in Columbus, so Ohio moves to the forefront as a major battleground for 2016, which should not be ignored by either party, but particularly the Republicans!

Realize that six Ohio Republicans went on to become President from 1868-1923—Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding!

Will the GOP be smart enough to do the right thing? Don’t bet on it!

Executive Orders On Immigration Common Since Eisenhower Under Every President!

The major controversy over immigration reform is reaching a fever pitch, with President Obama ready to issue executive orders if Congress does not take action by the end of 2014.

The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill 68-32, but the House will not consider it due to Tea Party extremists, so Obama is ready to do what he feels is essential.

There is nothing illegal about the use of executive orders, whether for immigration or any other issue, as it is a common thread throughout American history.

Every President since Dwight D. Eisenhower has utilized executive orders on immigration without exception, and only now is there the threat of impeachment if Obama does the same!

So the answer is NOT to back off, but move forward and do it, and know that impeachment is possible without any justification, as it was with Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but progress on immigration reform is essential NOW!

The President must NOT allow himself to be intimidated by the bullying of Republican leadership, and if they are crass enough to move to impeach him on that basis, they will suffer the repudiation of the American people, and make Obama a hero, much like occurred with Bill Clinton after his impeachment at the end of 1998.

So bring it on, Right Wing and Republicans! Show just what you are, and condemn your reputation in history!

Potential For Four State Rivalries For President In Republican Caucuses And Primaries, And The Rest Of The Cast Of Characters!

As the 2016 Presidential nomination battles begin, now that the Midterm Elections of 2014 are history, there is the potential for four state rivalries for President in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

Florida sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.

Ohio sees the potential candidacy of Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman.

Texas sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Wisconsin see the potential candidacy of Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Paul Ryan.

At this point, it seems likely that the Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin rivalries are likely to occur in reality, while Ohio is more questionable.

But, ironically, it is Ohio that has the best combination of potential candidates who could be serious competitors in November 2016, as both Kasich and Portman, while strongly conservative, come across as having a good chance to compete for the moderate center and Independents, and have not shot themselves in the foot, as five of the six others mentioned above have done on a regular basis.

The only other potential candidate of the above group of eight, who has a chance to accomplish the same as Kasich and Portman, is Jeb Bush.

Rubio, Cruz and Walker represent Tea Party right wing views, while Perry is an also ran and an embarrassment to himself, and Ryan was on a losing ticket with Mitt Romney, and has made no effort to moderate his harsh views on the poor of society, or his budget plans which do not add up to reality.

Add to this list a cast of characters which should be interesting but self destructive: Maryland pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Pennsylvania Governor Rick Santorum; and of course, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney!

Oh, and one more Governor, who should not be ignored, as a possible “Dark Horse”, and having the ability to do what Kasich, Portman, and Bush could do–appeal to the center—Indiana Governor Mike Pence!

Disturbing Statistics On The Midterm Elections Of 2014: The Battle Cry For Progressives And Democrats!

Despite the economic improvements under Barack Obama and the obstructionism of the Republican Party for four years, the GOP won control of both houses of Congress, and reelected many Tea Party Governors, who by all sane judgements, should have been defeated.

Beyond that, 30 state legislatures now are controlled by the Republican Party; two thirds of state legislators nationally are Republicans; 31 states have Republican Governors; and the Republicans have a greater number of seats in the House of Representatives than they have had since 1928, when Herbert Hoover was elected, soon to be followed by the Great Depression.

And the percentage of voters participating was the lowest in any midterm election since 1942, in the midst of World War II, only about a third of the voting electorate.

This midterm was dominated by people over 45, and particularly over 65, who were heavily white and registered Republican, while traditional Democratic voting groups–African Americans, Latinos, women, those under 45, and those supportive of labor rights and the environment—stayed home in large numbers, not realizing the importance of voting.

If left to their own desires, the Republican Party, the Tea Party Movement, and the conservative think tanks and talk show hosts, would now set about to impeach President Obama (even though there is no chance of his removal by a two thirds vote of the US Senate); repeal ObamaCare; repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; prevent any action on climate change; further destroy the labor unions that remain viable; continue to promote voter suppression which assisted the GOP victory; continue to allow the Koch Brothers and other reactionary billionaire and millionaire domination of campaign expenditures; fight to undermine feminism and civil rights enforcement; work against immigration reform; reverse the movement toward gay marriage and gay and lesbian equality under the law; and become engaged in multiple overseas wars that benefit powerful corporations and defense industries.

Here we are in the second decade of the 21st century, and we are more like the Gilded Age and the 1920s domestically, but with the addition of the war industries that have our young men and women, many of them from poor families, who are utilized as cannon fodder for war profits, and then mistreated as veterans in years after their war service!

Is this the kind of America that the majority of this nation want? If it is, they will get what they deserve. But there is a sneaking suspicion that this will, hopefully, motivate the vast two thirds of the population who did not vote, to rise up and participate in insuring, for the short run, resistance to the GOP agenda, and longer term, to insure a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President are elected in 2016!

The Republican State Governors Who Defied Common Sense, And Were Re-elected Despite Disastrous Performances!

Probably the most shocking result of the Midterm Elections Of 2014 was the reelection of six Tea Party Governors who had disastrous performances in office, and were awarded by a primarily older citizenry with another term as Governor.

Records like these Governors had would have, in normal times, led to defeat, but not in the crazy year of 2014. Clearly, a Governor can lie, insult, attack labor rights, and promote racism, misogyny, nativism, and homophobia, and still convince his constituency that he or she deserves reelection!

How could the state of Maine reelect Paul LePage, with his embarrassing rhetoric and lack of class? How could the state of Florida reelect Rick Scott with his uncaring attitude for the sick, disabled, poor? How could the state of Michigan reelect Rick Snyder when he was a disaster for the state? How could the state of Wisconsin reelect Scott Walker with his attack on labor rights, and constant deception and lying? How could the state of Georgia reelect Nathan Deal with his disastrous performance? And how could the state of Kansas reelect Sam Brownback, who put Kansas into a disastrous economic spin, with his reckless cutting of taxes on the wealthy and on corporations?

And even states where it was clear the Republican Governor would win, one has to sit in wonderment! How could South Carolina reelect Nikki Haley, one of the most mean spirited of all Governors? How could Oklahoma reelect Mary Fallin, when she demonstrated total lack of sensitivity and decency?

What is wrong with these eight states and even others, that they overlooked horrible records of their Governors, and reelected these people, one of the worst groups of Governors ever in American history?

Final Reflections As America Votes In Midterm Elections Of 2014

As America votes today in the Midterm Elections of 2014, polls indicate that the Republican Party will win control of the US Senate and will gain seats in the House.

As far as Governorships are concerned, the indications are that the Democrats are likely to gain a few seats, and defeat some Tea Party leaders.

To a great extent, this election is more negative–that is, throw out the rascals—as there is great disillusionment with government and with politicians.

Not that this is something new, as many Americans are ignorant about politics, and just think change for its own sake is good, which is often NOT the case!

The reality is that midterm elections generally favor the opposing party to whoever is President. But with the strange situation of a split Congress, rare in American history, it becomes much more complicated.

If the Democrats do, indeed, lose the Senate, which this blogger does not believe will happen, it will be seen as a defeat, which it would be, but it is a forerunner of a certain regaining of the Senate majority two years hence, as two thirds of the seats up in 2016 are Republicans, many of them winners in the major GOP gain in the midterm election of the first Obama term.

That fact, of two thirds of the 2016 seats being Republican, and the strong likelihood, that a Democrat will be heavily favored in the Electoral College in 2016 and beyond, as things stand right now, we can expect a massive gain of seats by Democrats then, hitting the high 50s, if not the magical 60 to overcome all filibusters.

The Republicans might win the majority tonight, but they will then have the onus of producing a record of accomplishment over the next two years to give them a chance to keep control of the Senate in 2016.

Based on their negativism and obstructionism for the past six years, that scenario is highly unlikely.

Instead, one can expect the Tea Party whackos on the right, led by Ted Cruz in the Senate, to do everything to prevent any progress, any action, any accomplishments, that they will be able to use in 2016 for Senate races and to support the GOP candidate for President.

Expect instead blockage of Presidential appointments to the cabinet and the courts; loads of phony investigations that will get attention, but accomplish nothing, except to demonstrate that the GOP are a group of showboats with no substance; and probably a move to impeach and put President Obama on trial, to besmirch his record, which will cause further stalemate and bitterness, and prevent any kind of positive action on so many signature issues.

And the GOP, continuing its racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia, will therefore self destruct and put themselves into the grave of history, instead of being a party that offers a bright future to more than just the elite one or two percent of whites who vote their interests, while middle and lower class whites vote against their interests because they are drawn to the disgraceful appeals mentioned above, even while many claim to be “religious”, but promote discrimination against minorities, immigrants, women, and gays and lesbians!

What The Midterm Elections Will Tell Us About America And Its Future!

We are now three days away from the Midterm Elections of 2014, and any political junkie is, by this time, worn out, and sick and disgusted at the constantly changing public opinion polls and the projections on Governorship and Senate races.

America has a choice to make, whether to move forward, and have a compassion and concern about those less fortunate, those who have been subjected to discrimination, those who simply want acceptance and respect, those who want a piece of the “American Dream”, and those who want to restore the middle class, which reached its peak in 1973, and has been in rapid decline since then.

If the Democrats lose the Senate and fail to throw out most of the seven Tea Party Governors who have been a nightmare to their states, then we have become, without any doubt, a nation moving toward the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, an American where racial minorities and immigrants were mistreated in horrible ways, women were second class citizens, and there was a monopoly of wealth and power by the elite wealthy over society, including exploitation of working people not treated with respect, and promotion of lower pay for women, exploitation of child labor, and the wholesale perpetrating of long lasting degradation of the environment.

It will also demonstrate that lack of knowledge, lack of education, lack of common sense, lack of caring about anyone other than oneself and close family and friends, leads to a reactionary society where there are no values other than greed and selfishness, and yet the victims in the long run are not just “others”, but these ignorant people who vote against their own advancement and welfare!

It is normal for a midterm election to promote some losses for the party in the White House, but to give the Republican Party massive rewards for obstruction, narrow mindedness, refusal to do what is good for the nation, and the promotion of pure hate, would be a sign of the failure of American democracy.

It would tell us that the goal is to confuse and divide the nation, while a small elite enriches itself and promotes wholesale destruction of the 20th century–including the New Deal and Great Society!

It would tell us that having provided millions with health care who never had it; has lowered the unemployment rate to the lowest since the Great Recession; has seen the stock market more than double; has eliminated Osama Bin Laden from the earth; has seen gasoline prices lower than in the past four years; has seen the deficit lowered by two thirds; has provided a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and has done so much to make lives better in many other ways, has failed to convince Democratic and Independent voters that it is worthwhile to fight for what they believe in, rather than just sit home and let the enemy of all this take over, all based on lies and talk radio and Fox News propaganda!

If the Democrats lose, a lot of the blame will be on Democratic office holders unwilling to defend the record they have achieved and to defend Barack Obama, and instead to allow fear and panic and anarchy and hate and prejudice take over the American psyche, and allow a party with no ideas and no ethics or morality to govern us, and take us down hill as they have done so often in the past!