Day: June 14, 2011

The Republican Lies About The Obama Economic Record!

The Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire last night demonstrated the GOP ability to lie and deceive gullible voters!

You would think that Barack Obama walked into the Presidency in good economic times, and that George W. Bush left him a positive legacy!

Of course, George W. Bush left the worst economy to his successor of any President since Herbert Hoover left the Great Depression to Franklin D. Roosevelt!

The facts are as follows:

1. The economy has come out of the depths it was in in 2009, although the level of economic growth has slowed up in recent months.
2. Over 2 million private sector jobs have been added in the past 15 months, not enough certainly, but compared to the 750,000 jobs a month being lost at the end of the Bush Presidency and the early months of the Obama Presidency, it is certainly a good sign.
3. The stock market has improved, whereby half of the lost household wealth has been regained.
4. The auto industry has revived from its low point, when we almost lost the entire domestic auto market, which would have led to far worse conditions in the Midwest and South, where most of the auto factories are located.
5. Housing is the big area of lack of improvement, with home prices and home construction still declining. Of course, the nation’s leading banks are major culprits in this regard, refusing to give mortgage loans and trying to foreclose illegally on many properties!

The point is that there is no magic potion by government and the private sector to restore the economy quickly, and the Republicans have come up with no strategy or plan to create jobs or revive the economy, deciding that just attacking President Obama is enough.

And cutting taxes and spending is just the old Herbert Hoover concept, which only made the Great Depression worse!

Do we really want to go back to Herbert Hoover, as Tim Pawlenty proposes, and to believe that miraculously there will be five percent growth annually for the next decade?

It is time to put up or shut up, meaning that the GOP leadership in Congress must stop talking and attacking, and start producing results in cooperation with President Obama, instead of just working to undermine him and making the economy worse!

Two Judicial Decisions: Opposite Results On Gay Rights And Labor Rights!

Just in the past few hours, two judicial decisions have been announced that transform America in major ways.

In California, a Federal District Judge upheld a decision of a gay state judge which threw out the ban on gay marriage in the Golden State. This is a major victory for gay rights and gay marriage returning to California, although it is being appealed to the Federal Circuit Courts, and eventually will end up, in all likelihood, in the Supreme Court.

At the same time, the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin has upheld the state law taking away the right of collective bargaining for public workers in that state, which had been the leader in labor rights a century ago. The long fought battle by progressive and labor forces against the abusive legislation promoted by the Republican Party and Governor Scott Walker has been lost, and there are moves in other states to strip public workers similarly of hard earned rights to bargain collectively, and protect their benefits.

Many observers see this development in Wisconsin as the beginning of the total demise of the labor movement, while the event in California is seen as the promotion of human rights, but in a tentative way, as the critics will fight tooth and nail to preserve traditional marriage.

Human rights is a constant battle with wins and losses, but no final victory, but that is the story of American history, so the struggle for gay Americans and American workers must continue without any letup!

Ignorance Of American History Pervasive Among American Students! But The Same In World Civilizations and Science!

A new national study demonstrates what has long been known: America’s students are terribly ignorant and clueless about American history–its personalities, principles, accomplishments, and failures! This was demonstrated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, called America’s Report Card.

22 percent of fourth graders, 18 percent of eighth graders, and 13 percent of high school seniors showed real understanding of the concepts and the important facts and principles of our nation’s historical tradition.

But it is not just American history, but also understanding of world civilizations and foreign lands that is a problem.

Also, the knowledge of science is abysmal, with many students having no understanding of the physical and biological sciences, with religion having a greater hold and acceptance than the realities of science, so that there are millions of young Americans who have no understanding of evolution or the natural sciences and climate change.

Very small percentages go into the sciences or engineering or technology fields, forcing American companies to recruit students from India, China and elsewhere to fill their needs for trained scientists.

With the emphasis on basic reading, writing, and math skills, but without very good returns even on those subjects, America’s children are being cheated out of what is MOST important: a broad General Knowledge base by the time they have left high school in America!

40th Anniversary Of Pentagon Papers!

Yesterday marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of the Pentagon Papers, secret documents stolen by Daniel Ellsberg, and released to the NY Times and Washington Post.

The administration of Richard Nixon tried to stop the release, but lost in the Supreme Court, and this enraged Nixon, and started him down the road of illegality, leading to the Watergate scandal a year later.

Ellsberg, still alive and kicking, remains a symbol for those who believe that Vietnam was an illegal war, wrongly prosecuted, and it started to turn the country against the war on a larger scale than ever before.

The revelation of government manipulation and deceit under various administrations also had the deleterious effect of undermining faith in our government, a cynicism which remains prevalent today!

The Fading Of Tim Pawlenty As A Presidential Candidate And The Rise Of Michele Bachmann!

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was clearly the loser in yesterday’s New Hampshire Republican Presidential debate.

Coming off a Sunday interview with Fox News Channel host Chris Wallace, in which he made a poor defense of his economic plan for 5 percent growth every year while cutting taxes further and cutting the budget dramatically, Pawlenty came across as insecure, defensive, and unwilling to challenge the man seen as his greatest rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Having called the Romney health care plan in Massachusetts “Obamneycare” on Fox News Channel, he refused to look Romney in the eye and repeat that strong attack he had just issued on Sunday.

Already seen as bland and dull, Pawlenty is in deep trouble now, particularly by the fact that his own Minnesota colleague, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, put on a masterful performance, greatly improving her own image as a serious Presidential candidate!

Not only did Pawlenty decline in stature, but Sarah Palin now knows she has a REAL competitor, a woman who far outshines her intellectually and in accomplishments in Congress, as compared to her meager record as a partial term Governor of Alaska. If anything, Bachmann’s performance is likely to keep Sarah Palin from entering the race, and if that is the case, America is better for it!

Mitt Romney Looked Presidential In CNN Republican Debate

There is no question that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looked Presidential in last night’s CNN debate in New Hampshire.

He had clear, crisp answers, and defended RomneyCare in Massachusetts, while making it clear that in his view it should not apply to the national level in ObamaCare.

Romney was calm, cool, confident, relaxed and smiled a lot, even while standing next to Ron Paul, who is the antithesis of everything he represents.

One could imagine Mitt Romney being on the same debate stage with President Barack Obama.

No one in the White House should underestimate Mitt Romney, but one must realize that the real test will come when Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry, if he decides to enter the nomination contest, actually participate in debate with Romney.

But a great start for Mitt Romney, with great promise for the future!