Day: March 23, 2010

Future Obama Presidential Library: Hawaii Or Illinois?

Imagine this: It is only early in the second year of the Obama Presidency, and already, discussions have begun on where the Obama Presidential Library should be after his time in the White House ends!

Being that he was born and lived in Hawaii for part of his youth, the Hawaii legislature is planning to petition the President to place his Presidential papers in their state.

At the same time, Obama’s adult life was primarily in Chicago, and certainly that is a more central location for his papers, regarding access to scholars.

A good compromise would be to do what happened with President Ford. His papers are in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the University of Michigan, a major scholarly repository and outstanding university where Ford graduated. However, there is also a Ford Presidential Museum in the city which he represented in Congress–Grand Rapids.

So I propose that his presidential library be in Chicago, either at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, or the University of Illinois at Chicago.

At the same time, put a Presidential Museum in Honolulu, as the home of his birth and early childhood.

That way, scholars have easy access, but tourists visiting Hawaii have another major historical site besides the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

This would be a good compromise to be fair to both Hawaii and Illinois!

Is Barack Obama A Socialist? Ask Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders!

A large percentage of Republicans in a poll think Barack Obama is a Socialist, but with most of them having no clue as to what Socialism is.

This charge, along with the beliefs that he is a Muslim, and that he is foreign born, are part of an assault unprecedented in American history on a sitting President of the United States!

But if one asks Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont if Obama is a Socialist, his reaction is to laugh heartily!

Sanders WISHES that Obama WAS a Socialist! 🙂 He makes it clear that Obama is FAR from being a Socialist!

And when one looks at Bernie Sanders as a person and as a principled Socialist, one has to wonder: What is it that makes conservatives, Tea Party people, and Republicans so uptight about the word Socialism?

Bernie Sanders comes across as a very decent fellow, far from being “radical” or “dangerous”! Many members of the Republican party in Congress sound and act a lot more “radical” and “dangerous”, some to the point of great embarrassment for the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt!

Senate Republican Obstructionism: Not A Winning Strategy!

The House Republicans disgraced themselves by their behavior this weekend as that chamber passed the Health Care reform legislation.

Now the Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and with the full backing of John McCain, have decided to be totally obstructionist, and to pledge to do everything to delay or prevent the “reconciliation” bill designed to make the newly minted Health Care reform better than it presently is.

So, as a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans all night sessions to prevent delay in the enactment of “reconciliation” beyond this pre Easter week.

If the Senate Republicans think this is a good image they are presenting the nation, they will soon discover how wrong they are!

Already, the first polls out after the enactment of Health Care reform indicate that 49 percent favor the legislation, compared to 40 percent opposed.

The GOP is about to have a rude awakening! Health Care reform is here to stay, even with 14 states trying to promote its repeal in the courts!

From Theodore Roosevelt To Bill Clinton: Presidential Commitment To Health Care For All Americans!

As we celebrate the accomplishment of landmark legislation on health care, we must acknowledge for history the role of several Presidents of both parties who saw health care as a right for all Americans.

The fight has gone on for nearly a hundred years now, since Theodore Roosevelt first enunciated the idea in his 1912 Progressive Party platform.

Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke about it as a basic human right in his 1941 speech to Congress.

Harry Truman first promoted formal legislation on health care in the late 1940s, but it was stopped by a coalition of conservative Republicans and southern Democrats.

John F. Kennedy promoted Medicare, but could not get it past the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, a Southern Democrat.

Lyndon B. Johnson accomplished both Medicare in 1965 and Medicaid in 1966, overcoming the opposition of Wilbur Mills, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

Richard Nixon came up with a health care plan which was rejected, sadly, for partisan reasons in the early 1970s.

Bill Clinton made the most massive effort for Health Care reform in 1993 and 1994, but it was rejected by Republicans and conservative Democrats.

Now, Barack Obama, with the full support and aggressiveness of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has gained what seven past Presidents worked on but could not fully achieve!

So let us salute and hail the seven former Presidents who had the guts, the courage, and the principles to make progress, no matter how limited, toward the ultimate goal that now has made Barack Obama an historic President!

When Obama is no longer President, and after his lifetime, Health Care reform will be part of the basic biography of this principled, dedicated man, who made his country a better place, as other great and near great Presidents have done!

A Tribute To Ted Kennedy’s Memory: Health Care Reform!

Senator Ted Kennedy died pursuing his dream of Health Care reform legislation.

The Congress and President Obama have now paid tribute to his memory, and the greatness of this man in our legislative history, by enactment of Health Care reform on Sunday evening.

It was a touching moment that Kennedy’s widow, Vickie, and his son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, were present today when President Obama signed this bill, the most important in 45 years, into law.

The accomplishment of this reform will only add luster to the image that Ted Kennedy was one of the ten greatest Senators in American history, a man for the ages, who in many ways accomplished more than his brothers, John and Robert Kennedy!

The False Argument Of States Rights

The move by Attorney Generals in many states to try to prevent enforcement of the Health Care Reform Act is a disgrace, based on the false doctrine of states rights!

States rights and secession were settled by the Civil War one hundred fifty years ago! Are we about to go back to the times of John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis? Are we also to go back to the times of Strom Thurmond and George Wallace?

The fact is that the US government and Constitution are supreme, and whether we like it or not, all Americans are required to obey the laws passed by Congress!

We are required to pay federal income taxes. We are required to pay Social Security taxes. We are required to pay Medicare taxes.

We are also required to obey the law regarding racial integration, and when Arkansas under President Eisenhower, and Mississippi and Alabama under President Kennedy refused to obey federal court orders, the National Guard was called in under federal control.

The fact that everyone will be required to have health insurance is not something to be argued about, as when people end up in emergency rooms, we end up paying much more than if they have insurance. No one can think that he or she, at any age, will not need insurance protection. This is now a requirement and a good one, and just like anything else, a way has to be found to do what needs to be done: protect yourself against accident and illness!

So, the false use of the Tenth Amendment is just an excuse to bring back an idea which was resolved long ago; the states may NOT disobey federal law!

Plaudits For Nancy Pelosi: The Most Powerful Woman In American History!

With the passage of the Health Care reform bill, it must be said that Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has to be given the most credit for the major accomplishment!

Through thick and thin, under constant conservative and Tea Party and Republican attack, even on a personal level, Pelosi was able to keep her eye on the goal, and to prod and push not only her Democratic colleagues, but also President Obama, to get into the fray and fight for the legislation!

As The Economist magazine has said, Pelosi has become the most powerful woman in American history, and arguably the most powerful Speaker since Joe Cannon in the first decade of the twentieth century. She will go down as one of the greatest Speakers in her impact, along with Henry Clay, Sam Rayburn, and Thomas “Tip” O’Neill!

What angers so many critics is that here we have a woman, an Italian American Catholic, who had the “gall” to challenge the male chauvinist Republicans around her, particularly Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, who came across as nasty, mean spirited, and narrow minded, a man who will go down in history as a “small minded” man who exploited every tactic possible to deny 32 million Americans the basic human right of health care!

So plaudits to Nancy Pelosi for her fantastic accomplishment! 🙂