US Constitution

Constitution Day: 230 Years And In Danger From Donald Trump In 2017, But The Constitution Will Survive!

Tomorrow, September 17, is the 230th Anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

The so called “Founding Fathers” brought about a document that was not perfect, but has survived through the crises of the Civil War; the Great Depression; the two World Wars; the Watergate Crisis; and now faces the challenge of the most dangerous Chief Executive in American history bar none!

By comparison to Donald Trump, Richard Nixon was a choirboy, dangerous in many ways, but also accomplished in many ways.

Nixon contributed some real positive developments in his five and a half years as President from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974, while Donald Trump has accomplished essentially nothing, other than the adding of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Trump has threatened constitutional norms, with his attacks on civil rights, civil liberties, the news media, the judiciary, the intelligence community, and the basic institutions of government, including the government agencies themselves, which he is trying to decimate in their effectiveness and even in their numbers, when more is needed in a growing nation with 325 million people.

Trump has threatened the security and safety of millions of Americans of minority religious and racial groups, and he has had the support of white supremacists, Neo Nazis, Neo Confederates, and the Ku Klux Klan, which he tries to equate with those opposed to these groups.

Trump has undermined our relations with our allies in Europe and Asia, and the tensions with North Korea have been increased by his reckless tweets and rhetoric, and the same goes for Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, adding to the potential for military intervention everywhere.

Our relations with our direct neighbors, Mexico and Canada, are at the worst in many decades, and our closest ally, the United Kingdom (Great Britain), is becoming more exasperated by Trump’s utterances. The same situation exists with Germany, France, South Korea, and Japan, and our major rivals, China and Russia are perplexed with Trump as well.France

There is great concern that Trump might use nuclear weapons, which no official other than the Secretary of State can even discuss with him directly under present policy, and Trump has the final say on that.

There is also concern that Trump could attempt to declare martial law if there was another September 11 type of attack by terrorists, suspending the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And to top it off, Trump seems to many to have a form of dementia, maybe Alzheimers, or just mental instability that is often a problem with aging seniors, but having him in a position which could provoke world wide war and disaster is an alarming circumstance of massive proportions.

Trump is a danger, but we must have confidence that the Constitution will survive his threat, but we must all be vigilant, and be ready to react if any threat seems evident as imminent.

The worst thing we could all do is trust Donald Trump, and sit back and just accept whatever he does, so thank goodness for the free, independent news media!

“Law And Order” Domestic Policy, And “America First” Isolationist Foreign Policy: The Coming Of Fascism To America Under Donald Trump!

Donald Trump last night delivered a 75 minute speech accepting the Republican Presidential nomination with a sense of humility and gratefulness (yeh sure)!

The longest acceptance speech of modern times, he promoted fear and trepidation about the condition of America and its future, and declared that he, himself, will resolve the problems of terrorism, crime, and crumbling infrastructure all by himself.

He declared that he will be the President of “Law and Order”, reminding people of the last President to utilize such a term, Richard Nixon, who proved to be the most lawless President in American history. He made it seem that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, was for lawlessness, much like Richard Nixon and third party candidate George Wallace in 1968 made it seem as if Hubert Humphrey was for lawlessness.

He declared an “America First” doctrine, reminding us of the isolationist group of 1940-1941 of that precise name, promoted by many naive isolationists, most famously Charles Lindbergh of aviation fame, who wanted to keep us out the war in Europe as Nazi Germany took over most of the continent.

He argued that only he, alone, could resolve the issues of terrorism and crime, as if by magic, he would solve them, without considering the role of the Congress and the courts, and the fact that we are NOT a Fascist dictatorship with one man rule.

Face the reality that Donald Trump is a clear cut Fascist, and a danger to American democracy and the US Constitution, and all efforts must be made to prevent this monster from becoming our 45th President.

A major job of education is needed, as too many people have no clue as to what Trump is doing, manipulating emotions and fear as he strives to become our leader, despite no experience, no knowledge, and with a constantly confrontational persona!

Constitution Day Reminds Us Of When We Had Statesmen!

Today is Constitution Day, the celebration of the signing of the US Constitution on September 17, 1787, after four long, arduous months of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

It also reminds us of the great statesmen we had two centuries ago, who overcame disputes and conflicts to do what needed to be done for the nation and its future.

When one looks at the sad reality of two Republican Presidential debates so far, and the lack of statesmanship demonstrated, it is very depressing, as we do not have any sign that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower is capable of dealing with the domestic and foreign policy issues facing the nation in 2015.

Sure, some of the contenders in the CNN and the earlier Fox News debate come across as “better” than the others, but except for John Kasich, and possibly Jeb Bush, none of them possess real Presidential credibility, while at the least, Hillary Clinton and, if he runs, Joe Biden,  on the Democratic side, display such credibility.

We have a long way to go in the 2016 Presidential campaign, but we are not likely to find another James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman or William Paterson arising to give us hope that statesmanship is widely available!

The Rising Odds Of A President Leaving Office Involuntarily!

When one thinks about it, the odds of a President leaving office involuntarily are growing.

The possibility of a President being impeached, specifically President Obama, has grown by leaps and bounds, at least if one pays attention to the lunatic Tea Party Movement crowd, which infests a portion of the House Republican Conference, and a few United States Senators, headed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz!

But of course, even if Barack Obama were to be impeached, the chance of gaining two thirds of the US Senate ready to convict and remove him, is extremely remote, and basically would never happen!

And yet, death threats are multiplying against President Obama, and the Secret Service monitors an average of 30 threats per day, not all serious, but still threats that have to be investigated, whether by someone in person, on the phone, in mail, or email, or on social media.

The author is finishing a book on Presidential assassinations, attempts, and threats, and has uncovered at least 35 serious enough threats against Barack Obama, in the sense that they have been reported in the news media, but it is clear that many more in multiple numbers, not public knowledge, have occurred!

Thank goodness the Secret Service and other agencies are doing what seems to be a great job in protecting the President and First Family, as well as Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, but all it would take is one breakdown in security, and a dirty deed could be accomplished, creating a national tragedy!

The problem is the level of hate is so intense, that many “religious” people, racists, and right wing nuts, including talk show hosts and politicians, fuel the fires, and incite people by their rhetoric, so that some whacko could get off shots at our leadership, and one can be sure that were something untoward to happen, there would be some elements of the population, which would applaud such a horrible deed!

So the odds of a tragedy, or possibly of a natural death in office grow, particularly when one considers, that we had a President die in office, either naturally or by assassination every generation from the 1840s to the 1960s, about 20 years apart in most cases, followed by the resignation of Richard Nixon forty years ago this summer.

Since the first demise of a President, William Henry Harrison, in 1841, 52 years after the establishment of the Constitution, we have had nine President leave office, four by assassination, four by natural death, and one by resignation.

But the last President to die naturally was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, 69 years ago! The last President to die in office, and by assassination, was John F. Kennedy in 1963, 51 years ago, meaning the longevity of no deaths between 1789 and 1841 is about to be matched next year! And even the last President to leave office, Nixon resigning in 1974, is 40 years ago, double the average time between deaths of Presidents over a period of 122 years from 1841 to 1963!

So one cannot help but have trepidation at the rising odds of a President leaving office involuntarily, as the years tick by! With exactly two years and seven months left in office for Barack Obama, as of today, all decent people, whether supportive or critical of his Presidency, must pray for his continued good health and safety as he faces the challenges of his times with courage and principle!

Time For Gay Marriage Case Before Supreme Court, As With Interracial Marriage Case In 1967!

With recent gay marriage advancements in New Mexico and Utah, making it now a total of 18 states and Washington DC allowing same sex marriage, it is time for a case to come before the Supreme Court regarding the right of two gay men or two lesbians to be able to marry and be accepted as equal everywhere in the United States.

Just because many “religious” people, both Christian and Jewish, do not wish to accept gay marriage is not a reason to deny equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

No one is saying that any particular church or synagogue must perform gay marriages, or that everyone has to be happy and approving of such marriages.

Marriage should not be based on what others think about it, as it is a basic human right, that one has a right to be happy, to love whoever he or she chooses, and to have it acknowledged in civil law.

If one does not like gay marriage, fine, but one does not have the right to deny others because you have a problem with the lifestyle of others.

The same situation existed regarding interracial marriage, and only in 1967, in Loving V. Virginia, did the Supreme Court rule that no state or locality could ban or prevent two adults of any race from marrying.

Even back then, there were religious leaders and sects who disapproved of interracial marriage, and people were being prosecuted for trying to marry, or even living together.

Such a concept is oppressive government, and it is time for this to stop, and for all people to be given the right to do what they wish regarding relationships in their adult lives.

So Supreme Court, it is time to accept a case, maybe out of the Utah government fighting the new gay marriage edict of a federal judge, and to expand human rights, which is the whole basis of American democracy, and the sooner the better!

Gay Marriage Acceptable To Majority In New Washington Post-ABC News Poll

It is now clear that the American people recognize that homosexuality is not a choice, but is the way some people are born,

58 percent of those polled thought gay marriage should be legalized, as compared to 36 percent who disagreed with the concept.. The numbers have almost exactly switched in the past ten years.

Among young people, support is at an all time high of 81 percent, with 50 percent of the elderly against it. And a small majority of Republicans and Independents under the age of 50 support gay marriage, although 70 percent of Republicans over the age of 65 oppose it, down from 80 percent.

Overall, 72 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 59 percent of Republicans support gay marriage.

Overall, 62 percent of all polled feel that the Supreme Court should decide the issue of gay marriage on a national level and based on the US Constitution, not allowing state by state, much like the Loving V. Virginia case on interracial marriage decided the issue nationally in 1967.

This week, what could be the most dynamic case of the Court in many years will be argued on the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act of 1996, and Proposition 8 of the state of California. The decision could transform American society in a dramatic way!

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia Compares Gay Marriage To Murder! Totally Reprehensible!

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has never hidden his ideological agenda on the Court, any more than Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

Both men, the most ideologically right wing of the past century, are clear in their prejudices and biases, and desire to bring America back to the 18th century, the time of the Founding Fathers, and the much promoted concept of both Justices known as “originalism”

The fact that the Founding Fathers included slave owners, treated women as second class citizens, and did not trust the masses of citizens so as to give them the vote for President or the US Senate, and limited the right to vote for white males to those who owned property in that time period, does not have any effect on either Scalia or Thomas.

If it was up to them, nothing would have changed, despite the fact that Italian Americans, such as Scalia, and African Americans, such as Thomas, were not considered human beings by most of the WASPS who dominated American government, and mistreated both ethnic groups well into the 20th century! The fact that Scalia is the first ever Italian American Justice, and that Thomas is the second ever African American Justice, seems not to have made them pause and realize the nature of progress and change!

So we know the narrow mindedness of both men, but to have Justice Scalia, who claims to be a great intellectual, and loves himself publicly, to compare gay marriage and gay rights to the horrors of murder, makes one think he is losing it completely, and needs to announce his retirement from the Court this coming June, after being in the hateful minority with Thomas on discrimination against a group, gay Americans, which has suffered more hate and prejudice than any other group in the history of the world, simply because of their sexuality, when that is none of anyone’s business!

If it is alright to have interracial marriage, or marriage between Catholics and Protestants, or Christians and Jews, all groups which have had to fight for their rights to marry, then it is alright to have two men or two women who love each other and wish to commit their lives to each other, to marry and have the benefits and security of marriage, and no prejudice, bias or hate should be allowed to get in the way of their commitment!

Scalia looked like a fool when answering the question of gay Princeton University freshman Duncan Hosie, who demonstrated great courage and dignity in his approach to Scalia, in front of a large audience.

No one is claiming that any person is free of prejudice and personal opinions, but it is totally inappropriate for a member of the Supreme Court to be so openly hostile and antagonistic as Scalia is on gay rights and gay marriage, and his behavior gives license to religious freaks and other hate mongers to continue to encourage actions and violence against gay Americans, and their and his behavior is therefore, morally reprehensible!

The Constitution, The US Senate, Exceptions To Majority Rule, And The Filibuster Crisis

Anyone who studies Congress knows that the House of Representatives is based on majority rule, the need to have 218 votes, if everyone is voting, to pass legislation through the chamber.

One would like to think that the same idea applies to the US Senate, that 51 votes are needed to take action, or 50 votes with the Vice President casting the tie breaking vote.

But, actually, the Constitution, drawn up by the Founding Fathers, set up FIVE conditions, where a two thirds vote was needed to take action.

A Constitutional Amendment requires a two thirds vote.

A vote to remove a President, Vice President, Cabinet Officer, Supreme Court Justice, or a lower level Federal Court Judge, after an impeachment trial, requires a two thirds vote.

A treaty with a foreign nation requires a two thirds vote for ratification.

An attempt to override a Presidential veto of legislation requires a two thirds vote.

The expulsion of a Senator, after investigation of his actions and behavior, requires a two thirds vote.

That is it, no other time when the Constitution requires more than a majority vote.

However, the evil action known as the filibuster has emerged to become a monster, which bottlenecks and paralyzes Senate action in recent times.

A rarity until 2007, the filibuster dates back a century, but was rarely used. But when it was, it required the individual or the group to spend hours upon hours speaking on the floor of the Senate.

Now, with 386 “filibusters” in the past six years by the Republican minority, with none of them leading to debate for hours and hours, but simply blocking action by the threat itself, it has become clear that action should be taken against this weapon of the minority to cripple the Senate,

So action is being planned to lower the filibuster numbers required to stop action from 60 senators to a number likely to be 55, but other plans are also being developed, and the decision will be made at the beginning of the new Senate on January 3, 2013.

More discussion of the filibuster will be done by this author in the weeks leading up to that momentous decision, to try to allow the Senate to act in a manner which allows action, rather than total paralysis, which has made the Senate lose its respectability!

Rachel Maddow Promotional Advertisement For MNSBC So Great To Watch Again And Again!

Rachel Maddow, the great liberal intellectual of MSNBC, has done a promotional advertisement since the election, which is shown over and over again, and somehow, never wears thin, or becomes boring.

She points out in the commercial that:

There is no chance anymore of abortion rights, as outlined in Roe V. Wade, ever being repealed by the Supreme Court.

Health care reform, upheld by the Supreme Court with the decisive vote of Chief Justice John Roberts, has no possibility of being repealed.

There will not be a further tax cut of 20 percent to billionaires and millionaires, as Mitt Romney promoted.

The United States Constitution is not going to be amended to prevent gay marriage in the future.

The US Department of Energy is not going to be eliminated, as promoted by several Republican contenders for the Presidential nomination.

Detroit and the auto industry did not go bankrupt, and will not go bankrupt, causing the loss of possibly a million or more jobs.

The DREAM Act, allowing a future for the children of illegal immigrants, who cannot be blamed for being brought to America, is assured over the long term.

All of the above could have been different IF Mitt Romney and the Republicans had won the election, but they did not!

Other points could have been made, and were made by this author in the first days after the election, but it is still so thrilling to hear Rachel Maddow in this commercial, no matter how many times it is broadcast!

America is so much better off because of the reelection of Barack Obama!

The Military Industrial Complex Gone Wild And Reckless! Time For Accountability For Corporate And Military Leadership!

In his Farewell Address in January 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of a “Military Industrial Complex” that would undermine our national security, civil liberties and basic ethical standards, as well as monopolizing the American economy.

Eisenhower was so prophetic, and it is slapping us in the face more and more every year!

Not only have big business corporations gained unheard of control over the American economy, but they have also corrupted our political system, and sadly, the Supreme Court, controlled by conservative Justices who had no concept of the true meaning of the Constitution, have hijacked our democracy through the Citizens United Case!

And the military has become corrupted too, and not just in abuses practiced in wartime, but also in the personal behavior of the top officials of our military. It is shocking that General David Petraeus and General John Allen are caught in highly inappropriate contact with women, who might have compromised these powerful men in the area of national security and the fight against terrorism.

It is not a question of morality per se, but rather of judgment, as people at the top of the military cannot afford to be reckless in their behavior, because it does not just affect their wives and families, but also all of us in this nation!

It was not acceptable with President Bill Clinton, and it is no more acceptable in the head of the Central Intelligence Agency or the head of our troops in Afghanistan!

But this is due to the fact that we tend to worship both powerful, wealthy businessmen, and powerful military leaders, both of whom are considered heroes, which builds up their egos in both the business and military worlds, and allows them to think they are unaccountable for their actions and behavior!

There is a need for a major house cleaning in the military, but also full prosecution of those businessmen who have abused their power and caused the economic downturn of the past four years.

Men and women of power MUST be held accountable, and this is the time to do it, in a second term of a President no longer facing reelection, and therefore able to be “free” of political considerations!