Theodore Roosevelt

Massive Cuts In State Department, Transportation Security Administration, Environmental Protection Agency Proposed

The Trump Administration is calling for massive cuts in the budgets of the State Department, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others government departments.

To cut the State Department when our foreign relations are in such flux makes no sense, and endangers our national security.

To cut the TSA, when the emphasis has been on trying to prevent terrorism in our airports and on our airlines, seems totally suicidal, particularly for an administration emphasizing the issue by having a travel ban on six Muslim nations.

To cut the EPA endangers cleanup of our air and water, and undermines our ability to deal with the reality of climate change and global warming.

It all seems to be part of White House Adviser Stephen Bannon’s desire “to deconstruct the administrative state”, all of the government agencies and programs created since the time of Theodore Roosevelt through the Presidency of Barack Obama.

To many, it would seem to be promoting total chaos and anarchy in a dangerous world.

Republican Replacement For ObamaCare: Young, Wealthy, Insurance And Drug Companies Benefit–But Disabled, Elderly, Poor, And Sick Are Victims!

“Availability” and “Access” are the Republican code words for Health Care, but does not solve the problem of how millions of people are to keep or gain health care.

The most vulnerable people,those on Medicaid and on ObamaCare (which is now being destroyed), including disabled, elderly, poor, and sick will become victims with the so called Ryan Plan, named after the Speaker of the House.

The young, wealthy, and drug and insurance companies will benefit, without a care as to how it affects everyone else.

This is shocking, the Republican Party saying it cares about life, but only interested when one is born to a wealthy family, but not caring about the everyday life of children, women, men, who are not economically well off.

The Republican Party says it believes in promotion of Christian values, but then it turns its back on those who are not from the elite wealthy, more concerned about promoting greater concentration of wealth, while further destroying the middle class and victimizing the poor.

The Republican Party has abandoned the principles of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who are rated numbers 1, 4, and 5 among all our Presidents, in the 2017 C Span Poll of Presidential Scholars.

The GOP of 2017 is a total disgrace–mean spirited, nasty, uncaring excuses for human beings, and one wonders how they can sleep at night! Somehow, in the next world, these despicable politicians will get true justice for what harm they are doing to Americans in 2017 and beyond!

The Republicans And Trump’s Crime Against The Environment, Which Could Be Considered “God’s Work”!

Donald Trump is about to commit a crime against nature, against the environment, what could be considered “God’s Work”.

In his speech before Congress tonight, Trump is calling for massive reductions in the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, and in so doing setting back five decades and more of promotion of the environment by Republicans going back to Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

One of the best things Nixon did in office was to sign into law the creation of the EPA in 1970, and the declaration of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

But once Scott Pruitt, former Oklahoma Attorney General, was named to be EPA head, the die was cast, and the Republican Party of 2017 is ready to gut the environment in the name of economic growth and industrial development.

Together with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, we are about to see a mass attack not only on the concept of climate change and global warming, but also an assault on the National Parks and other public lands built up over more than a century under Republicans and Democrats.

This is not something easily reversed in four to eight years, and it will have a deleterious effect long term, and much of the damage that will be occurring cannot be reversed.

This is a massive tragedy, and there is a sense of frustration at the narrow mindedness and tunnel vision of Donald Trump and the Republicans.

And let us not forget that Donald Trump only won 46 percent of the vote, and that 54 percent of the nation did not wish this attack on “God’s Work”.

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.

C Span Presidential Survey: Great Consistency On Top Ten Over Three Polls Since 2000

The third C Span Presidential Survey, just out since Friday, shows a great consistency on the top ten over the three polls since 2000.

The top four remain the top four, with only FDR slipping from 2 to 3 in the second poll, and remaining number 3 in the most recent poll, and Washington moving up from 3 to 2 in the second poll and remaining there in the newest poll, and Lincoln and TR remaining consistently numbers 1 and 4.

Truman was 5 in the first two polls, and now is 6, with Eisenhower surging the most from 9 to 8 to 5 over the three polls.

Jefferson remains number 7 in all three polls.

JFK went from 8 to 6 and then back to 8 in the three polls.

Ronald Reagan rose from 11 to 10 to 9, while LBJ went from 10 to 11 to 10 over the three polls.

So only Wilson dropped from the top 10, from a high of 6 to 9 and now 11, just ahead of Barack Obama, who seems likely to rise above Wilson when the next poll is done in four or eight years.

It will be a tough battle for Obama to dislodge one of the top ten, but expect over the next four to eight years, with a right wing Republican government, dismantling a lot of what many of the top ten Presidents did (specifically TR, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ), that Obama will pass Reagan and drop him from 9 to 11, as Obama goes from 12 to 10, surpassing Wilson as well.

48 Vice Presidents, 45 (44) Presidents?

With the inauguration of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, we now have our 45th (really 44th) President, and our 48th Vice President!

Some reading this are saying: “Huh?”

So let’s explain the difference in numbers.

Donald Trump is the 44th person to become President, but Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897, although he also won the popular vote in 1888, but Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College, the third time out of five (with 2000 and 2016 the 4th and 5th cases) where the popular vote loser won the Presidency.

Now, as to the Vice Presidency:

Several Presidents had two Vice Presidents, and one had three Vice Presidents, therefore making for four additional Vice Presidents more than Presidents.

Thomas Jefferson had Aaron Burr in his first term in the Presidency (1801-1805), and George Clinton in his second term (1805-1809).

James Madison had Clinton stay on as Vice President in his first term, but he died in office in 1812, so only served from 1809-1812, instead of to 1813. In his second term, Madison had Elbridge Gerry as his Vice President, but he served less than two years and died in 1814, so only serving 1813-1814.

Andrew Jackson had John C. Calhoun as Vice President in his first term, but he resigned with three months to go in the term, after being dumped from the ticket for the 1832 election, so served from 1829-1832. Martin Van Buren served in the Jackson second term (1833-1837), and became the last Vice President to succeed directly to the Presidency by election for 152 years, when George H. W. Bush succeeded President Ronald Reagan in the 1988 Presidential election.

Abraham Lincoln had two Vice Presidents–Hannibal Hamlin (1861-1865) who he decided to replace for his second election, and Andrew Johnson for six weeks in 1865 until Lincoln was assassinated, and Johnson became President.

Ulysses S. Grant had two Vice Presidents–Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873) who came under investigation for corruption and did not run for reelection; and Henry Wilson (1873-1875) who died in office.

William McKinley had two Vice Presidents–Garret Hobart (1897-1899), who died in office; and Theodore Roosevelt, for six and a half months in 1901, until McKinley was assassinated, and TR succeeded him to the Presidency, and then won a four year term of his own in 1904.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, being elected four times to the Presidency, and prevented from occurring again by the passage and adoption of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, had John Nance Garner (1933-1941) in his first two terms; Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945) in his third term; and Harry Truman for 82 days of his 4th term in 1945, before FDR died, and Truman succeeded him, and then won a full term in 1948.

Finally, Richard Nixon had two Vice Presidents–Spiro Agnew (1969-1973), his first full term and nine months of his shortened second term, until Agnew was forced to resign due to corruption charges, and being replaced two months later by Gerald Ford (1973-1974) under the 25th Amendment, allowing for an appointed Vice President subject to majority approval by both the House of Representatives and the US Senate, with Ford serving nine months before he succeeded to the Presidency upon the resignation of Nixon, due to the Watergate scandal.

Realize that George Clinton served under two Presidents (Jefferson and Madison), and the same for Calhoun, who had served as Vice President to John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), before serving as Vice President under Jackson for all but three months of that term. So as a result, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson only had one DIFFERENT Vice President to add to the total number!

Also, realize that Grover Cleveland, in his separate terms, had two different Vice Presidents, Thomas Hendricks for 8 months in 1885, and Adlai Stevenson I (1893-1897).

Also realize that John Tyler (1841), Millard Fillmore (1850), Andrew Johnson (1865), and Chester Alan Arthur (1881), all succeeded to the Presidency because of the deaths of William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield, and never had a Vice President, since there was no 25th Amendment until passage in 1967, allowing Gerald Ford to pick Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President in 1974. And the other four Presidents who had been Vice President, and succeeded due to the deaths of the Presidents in office (Theodore Roosevelt after William McKinley; Calvin Coolidge after Warren G. Harding; Harry Truman after Franklin D. Roosevelt; Lyndon B. Johnson after John F. Kennedy) all were elected in the next term and had a Vice President.

So only 40 men (plus Cleveland in two terms, so called the 22nd and 24th President) in the Presidency chose a Vice President, and only Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, McKinley and Nixon had two Vice Presidents who were unique (not shared with another President), and FDR had three Vice Presidents with his four terms in office. So if you count 41 due to Cleveland’s unique situation, and add seven extra Vice Presidents, you get a total of 48 men who have served as Vice President of the United States!

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 End Of An Era, And The Beginning Of A Dangerous Challenge To Our Nation, Its Past And Its Future!

I am writing this entry on the evening of January 19. In about 15 hours Donald Trump will be inaugurated President of the United States.

We are ending the Obama era, a great period of accomplishment, in about 15 hours, and it feels like a funeral scene.

The only good thing is that both Barack Obama and Joe Biden are alive and will fight along with all of us who are progressives, against the dangerous challenge to our nation, presented by Donald Trump and Fascism!

I will do my part in this struggle, and appreciate my readers and contributors who are there with me over the next few years.

We must be optimistic that the future will work out, although there will be harm to many, particularly those who are sick, weak, poor, gay, and of minority religious, racial, or ethnic heritage.

United we will triumph, and we have overcome the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, and the Richard Nixon Watergate Crisis, and Donald Trump will fail in his mission to destroy the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and the Obama legacy!

I will not post tomorrow, a rare exception, and will not watch or listen to the inauguration, and instead go to the movies with my younger son, but I will, of course, learn what has happened, and comment on it starting on Saturday, January 21.

So, everyone, be confident, as the progressive battle, going on since Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette Sr. and George Norris 116 years ago, will continue and prosper!

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!