Day: April 12, 2010

Associate Justice Al Gore? An Exciting Thought For The Progressive Base!

Ed Schultz suggested tonight on his MSNBC talk show that former Vice President Al Gore is part of the speculation as a possible choice for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to replace Justice John Paul Stevens.

The selection of Gore certainly would fire up the progressive base, but at the same time, it would anger conservatives, Republicans, talk radio, and Fox News Channel, and therefore it would be a major challenge to these groups, who would, assuredly fight “tooth and nail” to prevent his confirmation.

However, the argument is that President Obama would have a better chance this year to make a bold choice for the Supreme Court, since it is certainly expected that he will not have 59 Democrats (including two independents) in the Senate after the midterm elections this fall.

Gore would bring a distinguished record as a Congressman, Senator, Vice President, and the winner of the popular vote for President in the 2000 election. He has become the center of the environmental crusade in the past decade, but has become a lightning rod for his critics, including Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and others in Congress who deny what he has said and written about global warming and climate change.

Gore would be an exciting and dynamic choice, and could be expected to serve for 15-20 years at the least, considering his age of 62. Were he to serve on the Court, he could become a real leader of the liberal bloc and have a greater impact long term than if he had been President.

That certainly is what can be said about others who served on the Supreme Court and were involved in Presidential politics. Former President William Howard Taft served as Chief Justice from 1921-1930, and Charles Evans Hughes served as an Associate Justice before he ran for and lost the Presidency in 1916, and then he served as Chief Justice from 1930-1941.

Certainly, there is an argument for a “politician” to serve on the Court, and if one is looking for that description, the list is long of possible candidates–Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (now Homeland Security Secretary), Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, former NY Senator Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State), Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

The impact of Governor Earl Warren of California (Chief Justice from 1953-1969) and Senator Hugo Black of Alabama (Associate Justice from 1937-1971) make a good argument for a “politician” as the list above suggests, but the most intriguing of all is the thought of Al Gore on the Supreme Court, sitting on a body that includes five members who were involved in Bush V. Gore (Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy backing Bush, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer backing Gore).

What a dramatic moment it would be if Chief Justice John Roberts were to swear in Associate Justice Al Gore! ๐Ÿ™‚

Man In Space: 49th Anniversary Commemoration!

Today marks 49 years since the first man went into space–Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union.

In less than a month, Alan Shepard was the first American in space, although it took until February 20, 1962 before John Glenn matched what Yuri Gagarin had done on this day–orbit in a space capsule.

The space race was on, and it was a glorious time, promoted by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and leading to Americans walking on the moon between 1969 and 1972!

The space program has gone through different phases since, but the dream of man in space and exploring the moon and Mars seems a distant dream, and President Obama is moving in the direction of cutbacks on the Space Coast in Florida. ๐Ÿ™

This is highly regrettable, and it is hoped that the Obama Administration will revisit the issue of space travel, and will see the virtues and benefits of pursuing further exploration in space after the space shuttle finishes its missions later this year!

Anniversary Of The Beginning Of The Civil War: What Should Be Celebrated And Commemorated!

Today marks the 149th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, the most significant single event in American history!

As we enter the 150th year since the Civil War began, Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell has created a controversy by declaring April as Confederate History Month in his state, and originally failing to mention the role of slavery in bringing about the war.

Virginia was indeed the center of much of the Civil War action, as it was also significant in the American Revolution, particularly the decisive Battle of Yorktown that ended the Revolution in October, 1781.

It is also the home of seven Presidents–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, W. H. Harrison, Tyler, and Wilson. It is a state worthy of many tourist visits, since it has played such a major role in our history, and is now a rapidly growing state that is quickly changing its image nationally, no longer just a “Rebel” state, but a cosmopolitan state which has gained a lot from the growth of its suburbs which border on Washington, DC!

Again, as stated in an earlier entry on this blog, visiting the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond is well worth anyone’s time to see the Confederate side of the Civil War. There is nothing wrong with honoring those who fought for Virginia, including Robert E. Lee and, even, President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy. It is important to know the whole story, but there is no reason this long after the Civil War to “glorify” the Rebel cause. In other words, teach about it, read about it, and encourage all Virginians and all Americans to visit museums around the country and see the whole story of the war, where two thirds of a million men perished in the name of what they believed in!

But emphasizing the Confederate flag is counterproductive, because it represents to African Americans and many other Americans a “Lost Cause” that was illegitimate–that the nation established by the Founding Fathers, many of them Southern, should rightfully be destroyed by slave owners, whose goal was to preserve an evil institution, and in the process, not only exploit African Americans, but also keep the vast majority of whites, who were poor, as a laboring class just a step above the slaves!

We should celebrate that this nation endured because of the principled fight of those who believed in nationalism, unity, and liberty–not glorify those who were out to promote the continuation of slavery and the degradation of poor whites!

Former Politicians As Talk Show Hosts: A Growing Trend

A developing trend on cable news seems to be that former politicians are substituting for talk show hosts, and one wonders if this is a move to employ these political figures as future hosts of regularly scheduled shows.

Fox News Channel, of course, already employs former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on its network on regular shows.

But now, MSNBC has had former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer substitute for Dylan Ratigan, and CNN has had former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura replace Larry King for one evening.

It must be said that all of these former governors have a certain manner about them that makes them effective as talk show hosts, and it could be that politicians who have left office voluntarily, been forced out of office, or been defeated for office may very well be the media stars of the future!

Is Sean Hannity Crazy? Suggestion Of A Palin-Bachmann Presidential Ticket In 2012!

Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel is famous, or infamous, for making ridiculous statements, but one particular assertion this past week goes beyond the pale! ๐Ÿ™

He suggested that Sarah Palin was as bright and intelligent as President Barack Obama, and thought an excellent GOP ticket for 2012 would be Sarah Palin for President and Michele Bachmann, notorious Congresswoman from Minnesota, as Vice President! ๐Ÿ™

Is there anyone sane out there who agrees with Sean Hannity? How could anyone in their right mind make such a statement? ๐Ÿ™

The thought of such a ticket would be enough for many to say goodbye to the United States! This is the most preposterous ticket ever conceived by anyone!

One thought though–while both are scary, at least Michele Bachmann has been a practicing attorney and is obviously intelligent and competent! Sarah Palin has no qualifications at all, and went through multiple colleges before finally gaining a bachelor’s degree in communication.

The problem is that while Michele Bachmann is qualified intellectually, her views are so terrifying that it is enough to promote a nightmare! LOL

No matter how one looks at it, the “dream ticket” of Sean Hannity is an absolute “no brainer”! ๐Ÿ™

The 65th Anniversary Of FDR’s Death: Its Meaning!

Today, April 12, marks the 65th anniversary of the death of our greatest 20th century President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In most polls of scholars and experts, FDR ranks only second to Abraham Lincoln among all 43 Presidents of the United States!

The effects of FDR and his “New Deal”, and his World War II efforts, still reverberate on our lives two thirds of a century after he left the scene!

A lot of the same rhetoric being used against President Barack Obama today was employed against FDR in the 1930s and early 1940s. He was called a “Communist”, “Fascist”, “Socialist”, “radical”, “Nazi”, “Marxist”, and as against capitalism and democracy.

We are hearing ridiculous accusations such as this from talk radio, Fox News Channel, Republican party leaders, and even from people in the entertainment industry, who have shown that sometimes aging makes the mind go awry, and makes these individuals look foolish and nutty!

I am referring to such former luminaries in entertainment as actor Jon Voight, and singers Andy Williams and Pat Boone, who have made former fans alienated by their outrageous statements that make one wonder about their mental stability! ๐Ÿ™

The fact is that FDR and the New Deal saved capitalism, saved democracy, gave hope and faith and confidence in the future, and became an important lifeline to many millions of desperate Americans. The New Deal created a large national government, became involved in deficit spending out of necessity, and the Presidency grew in authority and responsibility as the only way to sustain the country through difficult times.

FDR also had to deal, not only with extremists on his left and right, many of whom were indeed scary and threatening, but also with a very conservative Supreme Court, which stood often in the way of necessary actions and progress.

So FDR faced very similar circumstances as Barack Obama has to deal with every day!

Let us hope that as we recognize the long range impact of FDR, that we will eventually see the New Deal traditions that he pursued, and that are being followed and updated by the man who, in many ways, represents the modern manifestation of FDR, Barack Obama, be accepted as following the proper instincts!

Also, it is hoped that we will come to appreciate Barack Obama, and not see him as the enemy, the devil, or anti-American, as Michele Bachmann has labeled him! What a disgrace that anyone would call an American President as unpatriotic and unAmerican! Shame on Michele Bachmann and all of Obama’s other critics who employ such character assassination! ๐Ÿ™

The Mystery Of Ron Paul And The Republican Party

Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has long been a problem to the Republican party.

A member of the House for more than two decades, and a Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the past, as well as having been a candidate for the GOP nomination for President in 2008, Paul is much admired by many libertarians and young people of college age who find his views fascinating.

Paul has been a strong critic of many federal government agencies, and would love to wipe out the Federal Reserve System.

Paul is also a critic of any violations of civil liberties, and was opposed to the Patriot Act, passed after September 11 in a fit of patriotism and hysteria.

He also is a critic of our military interventions overseas, and calls for bringing home our troops from all of the many nations we have military and naval bases, arguing that we should not be an “Empire”.

All this is very appealing to many, even though at times, Ron Paul comes across as a bit weird and whacky on a personal level. ๐Ÿ™‚

The problem for the GOP is that Ron Paul appeals to many in the base, but not to the leadership of the party, who try to ignore him. He was ridiculed by both Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney during the Presidential debate season in 2007-2008.

But Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll recently, and now has ended up just one vote behind Mitt Romney in a similar straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this past week.

So what does the GOP do about Ron Paul? He is totally against the typical Republican attitude toward big business, civil liberties, and foreign policy. He is a mosquito who bites the Republican body politic, and is seen as a pest.

So one wonders if Ron Paul has any chance to be a serious factor in the Presidential Election of 2012. It would have to be said that is highly doubtful, and the fact that Ron Paul will be 77 years old in 2012 also rules against any influence, other than being an annoyance.

The one hope that Ron Paul could have an influence on the future of the GOP is the fact that his son, Rand Paul, is running in the GOP primary for the Senate in Kentucky. Were Rand Paul, who sounds very much like his father, to win the nomination and triumph in the Senate race in November, we might very well have not heard the last of the Paul “dynasty”! ๐Ÿ™‚