Day: August 20, 2009

Tom Ridge, Homeland Security, And Politics In The 2004 Presidential Election

Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who was our first Homeland Security Secretary under President Bush, has revealed that politics played a role in raising the threat level in the 2004 Presidential campaign of President Bush.

Ridge saw no need to raise the threat level shortly before the 2004 Presidential campaign, but was challenged by Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, and John Ashcroft, Attorney General at the time.  There was a heated discussion, and it convinced Ridge to leave the government after the election.  The threat level was not raised then, but it had been a few days after John Kerry’s nomination for President.

There were many observers at the time who believed the threat level issue was used for political gain, and now it has been proved.

This is another example of the corruption and political manipulation utilized by the Bush administration on a regular basis, despite many denials. It is all fits the image of the Bush presidency as one of deception and lies on a massive scale.

Senator Jim DeMint And Health Care

Republican Senator Jim DeMint, rapidly becoming regarded as the most right wing member of the Senate, has stated that health care is not a right that all Americans have, but rather a privilege.

This comes from a man who is pro life, but apparently believes it only goes as far as making sure every fetus is born, but leaving health care after it to chance, rather than an organized plan to help the millions of children and their parents who lack health care or have inadequate health care.

Senator DeMint is to be condemned for this heartless viewpoint about the right to health care, which is clearly a RIGHT, not a privilege!

Declining Democratic Support In Polls: Predictable But Not Alarming

While it is disturbing to see support for Democrats declining in many new polls, it should not be surprising at all.

The Obama Administration is not afraid of controversy, and has been confronted with a multitude of problems and challenges unmatched since the Great Depression and FDR.

Therefore, it was predictable that the so called “honeymoon” would end, but I think it is not something to worry about.

A lot of the loss is among independents, but it is due to a multitude of propaganda attacks by opponents, and disillusionment brought about by the fact that we are dealing with such complex issues that we could not expect anything else to be occurring.

I would argue that it is likely in any case that the Democrats will lose some seats in the US House in 2010, something that is historically a reality in midterm elections. But it is also likely that the Democrats will gain a couple of seats in the Senate, based on the circumstances that now exist with the GOP losing a number of veteran senators who have decided to retire.

Signs are emerging that many town hall meetings are now becoming civil, including in Florida, and the President and his supporters are on a “full court press” in reaction to the corporate and conservative and talk radio vitriol, and I would not be willing to bet against success with some compromise when Congress comes back in mid September.

Remember that Barack Obama was underestimated in the 2008 campaign, and realize that to underestimate him in the battle for health care reform would be unwise!

Importance Of Trying For Bi Partisan Health Care Bill

While there are a large number of liberals in the Democratic party who advocate promoting health care legislation without any GOP support, I think it is important to try and gain SOME Republican backing.

The urgency of this is shown by comparing Obama’s struggle with that of FDR on Social Security and LBJ on Medicare.

A study of both legislative battles shows that both presidents gained substantial Republican backing in the House and Senate on the two key legislative accomplishments of the last century regarding social and economic reform.

Of course, it is necessary to point out that the GOP support for FDR and Social Security came from “progressive” Republicans, including those I wrote about in my published book on the New Deal.

Also, the Republican support for Medicare under LBJ came from “liberal” and “moderate” members of the party in the North who saw the virtues of the legislation.

The problem now is that there are hardly any “moderate” Republicans in the party in 2009, with the exception of the two women Maine senators, plus possibly a handful of others, but no indication of any in the US House.

So we are confronted with an intractable problem, and it may be necessary for Obama to charge ahead WITHOUT GOP support, to bring about a necessary move toward health care reform.

If that happens, it will not be the fault of Obama, but intractable Republicans who are putting party ahead of country!

Ignorance Of Geography: A Crisis For America!

In the debate over whether Barack Obama was born in the United States in 1961, the controversy is not just over those who still believe that the President was born in Kenya or Indonesia, but also among those who say “Yes, he was born in Hawaii”, but think Hawaii is a foreign nation!

It turns out that six percent in a poll think Hawaii is not part of the United States, and four percent are not sure IF Hawaii is part of the country.

This reminds me of those in the population who think that if you mail a letter or package to New Mexico, you need foreign postage! LOL

It shows a real ignorance of geography in this country, as many people could not even pick out the United States on the map, and have no clue as to where Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan are, despite their crucial significance at this point in international affairs.

This is a sad commentary on American education, but also on our super nationalism mentality, which makes many feel that we do NOT need to know anything about the world around us since we are the superior nation, so therefore why should we care about any other country? This is a major problem for the future of this nation and the world as well!