Month: April 2013

Sandra Day O’Connor And Second Thoughts on Bush V. Gore: 12 Plus Years Too Late!

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has indicated second thoughts about her vote in the infamous Bush V Gore case of December 2000, when the Court decided to intervene in the 2000 Presidential Election controversy between Al Gore and George W. Bush in Florida.

The Supreme Court decided that the vote recount ordered by the Florida State Supreme Court should be halted, giving the victory to Bush, and leading to his election by the miniscule margin of 537 votes, and making him the Electoral College winner by 271-266.

Now, O’Connor has expressed regret that the Court did something it had no precedent to do, decide the election results in a closely competitive contest by far less than one percent of the vote. Where does it state in the Constitution that the Supreme Court should so intervene? The state Supreme Court should have been the final determinant, and possibly, Bush would have won anyway, but at least the Supreme Court would not have done what was a revolutionary precedent!

It could be that O’Connor feels guilt because she is well aware of the disasters that occurred under George W. Bush, and the beginning of the attempt to change his historical image, through the opening of his Presidential Library this week in Dallas, Texas.

We will never know whether Al Gore would have been a better President, but it is hard to believe that he would have been worse than Bush turned out to be!

Wealth Gap Has Widened Due To Economic Recession: Danger For America’s Future!

While almost everyone, except the very wealthy, suffered from the Great Recession and its aftermath during the past five years, what is most distressing and dangerous for the future of America is the widening wealth gap among the races.

The average white family earns TWICE what the average African American or Hispanic family makes, and has SIX times the total wealth of the average minority family..

White families lost eleven percent of their wealth due to the recession, as compared to 44 percent for Hispanic families and 31 percent of black families.

Unless “Baby Bonds”, an investment in a child’s future, are given to all poor families, the future of minority youth to overcome their poverty and deprivation will be impossible, and the wealth gap will be impossible to narrow over future decades!

Momentous Turning Point In Gay Rights Movement: Jason Collins The New “Jackie Robinson”!

With the revelation today that Jason Collins, a black basketball player with the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association, has come out as gay, is a major turning point in the gay rights movement in America!

Organized sports has always been seen as the last place we would see any such revelations, but with young people, by massive margins as high as 74 percent, having no problem with gays and lesbians, and believing they should be treated equally with straight people, this will be the beginning of other athletes showing the courage and principles of Jason Collins.

Jackie Robinson was a transformational figure, and this issue of sexuality is even more difficult to deal with, but Jason Collins has become a pioneer for his race and for athletes, and no matter what attacks he must bear, and the prejudice and hatred he will have to deal with, particularly from so called “religious” people, he will triumph and hold his head high, and will give young people struggling with sexuality better able to deal with it, and to accept what they are, rather than fight their natural feelings.

There is nothing worse than living a lie, and allowing so called “religious” people to make one feel guilt about his or her feelings, but the gay rights movement will continue to move toward total triumph and acceptance by all but the hate mongers!

If Hillary Clinton Decided NOT To Run For The Presidency, What Other Women Would Be Potential Presidential Nominees?

It is assumed by everyone that Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, former New York Senator, and former Secretary of State, will run for the Presidency in 2016, and has an excellent chance to be the first woman President.

But nothing is certain at this point in 2013, and were Clinton to decide NOT to run, the question arises as to whether any other woman politician would be a potential Presidential candidate, and possibly the first woman President.

While Republicans may imagine that New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez or South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley could be future Presidents, or that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota might try again for the Presidential nomination, one would have to be delusional to the extreme to believe that would be an eventuality in the real world. There is no Republican on the horizon who could be seen as a future, serious candidate for the White House!

However, there are four Democratic women Senators who should be looked at in a serious manner, IF Hillary Clinton were to decide to bow out of the Presidential race, and two of them could be considered serious potential future candidates, even after a two term Hillary Clinton Presidency.

The two women Senators who have an opportunity for 2016 but not in the next decade, due to age, would be Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

And the two longer range potential candidates are Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

The most exciting possibility would be Elizabeth Warren, who Wall Street hates, and who is most loved by the liberals in the Democratic Party, with McCaskill, seen as more moderate, and Klobuchar and Gillibrand seen as to the left of McCaskiil, but not as much to the left as Warren.

As long as Hillary Clinton decides to run, these women will be in the background, but all bets are off if she ends up deciding to continue speaking for $200,000 a speech, and to write her memoirs, and avoid the political fray.

The Takeover Of Major News Media By The Koch Brothers A Menace To Journalism!

Charles and David Koch, the infamous Koch Brothers, who promote libertarianism to the extreme, wanting no government regulation of business, and sponsors of the Tea Party Movement, as their dad was the promoter of the John Birch Society in the 1960s, are now attempting to buy up a whole group of newspapers that are in financial trouble, and need buyers to survive.

These newspapers include:

The Los Angeles Times
The Chicago Tribune
The Baltimore Sun
The Orlando Sentinel
The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel
The Hartford Courant

These six papers and three smaller ones are all under Tribune ownership, which is in receivership, and it seems likely that these right wing extremists will come to control the fourth and ninth largest newspapers in the nation (Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune), as well as the others, and in so doing, will destroy American journalism as we know it!

Added on to the control of Fox News Channel and Rupert Murdoch over the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, it means we will see a growing extreme rightward tilt in news coverage, and the end of independent,, muckraking journalism over time!

This Koch Brothers takeover will deal a death blow to the distinguished field of news coverage, and all of us will be the losers, if that event, which seems likely, occurs!

Barbara Bush Is Correct, But That Is Negative For The Republican Party Future!

Former First Lady Barbara Bush is disarmingly frank and outspoken, and her statement that her son Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor, was very well qualified to run for President, but should not, as there have been enough Bushes in the Presidency, is an assertion which will reverberate through the Republican Party, and not for the good of the party’s future!

The fact that the former First Lady said this on the day of her older son’s opening of his Presidential library, with just about everyone knowing that his administration was a near total disaster, is telling.

It is clear that Jeb Bush is smarter, more competent, and would have made a better President than George W, but that is water over the dam!

The fact is that she is correct that a family should not have a monopoly of the Presidency, and that we should not have dynasties, and the reality that the Bushes took up twelve years in the White House, plus eight years in the Vice Presidency, is certainly enough for any family, more than any other family in history!

But when one looks at the potential Republican field of Presidential candidates for 2016, one has to say that, in many ways, Jeb Bush MIGHT be the best candidate the party could field, other than Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, but it is clear Huntsman has ZERO chance to be the GOP nominee for 2016, because he is too smart, too qualified, too mainstream, too sane, to be chosen by this disaster of a party in 2013!

What is left is Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Chris Christe, Scott Walker and a few other also rans, and when one looks at this list, it is clearly pitiful for a great political party with a dignified and distinguished history of great Governors, Senators, and even a few Presidents!

So if a sane, competent guy, who can also appeal to Hispanics and Latinos, but sadly has the wrong last name, and a mother telling him not to run, decides to stay out of the Presidential race, then ANY chance of a real Presidential competition in 2016 is totally over, and the GOP might as well concede to Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat who might be the alternative!

Karl Rove Totally Delusional On George W. Bush’s Greatness!

Former George W. Bush “brain” Karl Rove is totally delusional, as yesterday, he declared on Fox News Channel that George W. Bush belonged with the “greats” among the Presidency, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan!

This is the same man who failed to elect most of the Republicans that he supported through his campaign organization, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy patrons who believed he knew who to back and could win seats in Congress.

This is the same man who said on Election night that Mitt Romney was going to win, and denied the obvious Barack Obama victory when it was already happening!

Bush will make the list of Presidents as one of the FAILURES of the Presidency, in the company of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Pierce.

Rove has conveniently forgotten Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, all of whom rank better than Ronald Reagan, who might be number 11, but not in the top ten of all Presidents!

And Bill Clinton may eventually rank above Reagan as well, and Barack Obama might also make the top ten to twelve list, when he has left the Presidency, and passions have cooled down!

The Immoral, Cynical Sequester: Backing Off On Air Travel, But Not On Seniors, Children, The Sick, Unemployed!

The $85 billion dollar sequester forced on the nation by the House Republicans has been a tragedy for the helpless, the vulnerable, but once it affects businessmen and air travelers, the Congress is quick to react, but only for that special interest group which tends to have a larger voice politically!

Yes, even this author travels, and will a number of times this summer, and was not thrilled about airline delays caused by furloughs forced on air traffic controllers.

But what about the indigent seniors who will not be fed by the Meals on Wheels program?

What about the children who are in Head Start, and will now have no summer program, and will force their mothers who have work to quit work that barely keeps the family out of poverty?

How about the sick in nursing homes who will not get government services, and will have medications and nursing care dramatically cut?

How about the unemployed, who will have a cut in coverage which allows them to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs?

How about the victims, the people at the bottom of the social scale, who are told that life is to be protected, but only enough to be born, but not any guarantees beyond that?

And this is all so because corporations must get government welfare who should not get it, such as oil companies!

And this is so because those at the top of the economic pyramid cannot be expected to pay more, when they have had the massive tax cuts of the past decade!

And this is because the Republican Party is willing to cater to special interest groups that support their campaigns, including so called “religious” groups who are out to promote their agenda, despite the concept of separation of church and state!

Who gives a damn for the powerless, over the powerful? Certainly NOT the GOP!

And the sequester which they forced through is now being blamed on Barack Obama, rather than where it belongs–with John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of their despicable excuse for a political party!

A Rare Moment: Five Presidents And Five First Ladies Photographed Together!

For those of us who are Presidential junkies, the only time we see a group of Presidents and First Ladies together in public is at openings of Presidential libraries, and at funerals of Presidents and First Ladies.

Since these do not happen very often in either regard, today’s gathering of five Presidents and five First Ladies at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was an exciting moment, no matter how one feels about the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Seeing Jimmy Carter looking hale and hearty; George H. W. Bush in a wheelchair in obviously poor health although only being less than four months older than Carter; Bill Clinton his usual talkative, charismatic self; George W. Bush being very positive, despite the clear cut failures of his time in office; and Barack Obama, always good with saying the right things, was fascinating!

Seeing Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush looking good, considering their advanced age; Hillary Clinton looking ready to run for President any time now; Laura Bush being her usual sweet self; and Michelle Obama looking always as an elegant lady, was also very inspiring!

Of course, Nancy Reagan, while not mentioned, was absent, as she is in her early 90s and not in good health.

And we saw the two daughters of Lyndon Johnson and of Richard Nixon, along with the daughter of Gerald Ford, but no other Presidential children, other than the two daughters of George W. Bush, of course! But only Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman, was present, not the son and daughter of Nancy Reagan, Ron Jr. and Patti. And neither was Caroline Kennedy, or the other children of Gerald Ford, and none of the children of Jimmy Carter, or the Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea!

In any case, for those who are into photographs of a group of Presidents or First Ladies, today was a very good day!

The Rehabilitation Of George W. Bush’s Reputation Begins Tomorrow!

Every American President has obvious attributes and shortcomings, and the job of historians is to assess both, and come up with a reasonable conclusion on the tenure of each occupant in the White House.

George W. Bush has now been out of office for four years and three months, and has stayed out of the public eye and controversy, unlike his controversial Vice President, Dick Cheney.

Bush’s purpose in life is to begin the rehabilitation of his shattered image, primarily based on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the economic collapse in his last months, known as the Great Recession.

This is a lot to overcome, and having allowed Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to have so much impact on policy making does not help Bush’s quest to be seen as a President who did his best in difficult times.

Tomorrow, at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas, a few hundred miles from his father’s library in College Station on the campus of Texas A & M, all four former Presidents will be present, along with President Obama, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and many other dignitaries.

The new library will allow visitors to make judgments on whether they would have done any differently in the major crises of his eight years in office.

The library also avoids much attention paid to Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush’s political genius, Karl Rove, who, like them, remains highly controversial and divisive in the minds of many Americans.

It will be argued that Bush is trying to manipulate history, and of course he is, but every President in his library attempts that.

Will a reassessment of Bush change the view of C Span scholars who in 2009, rated him 36th of 42 men who have been President?

Likely, over time, and particularly after his future demise, whenever that is, the image of George W. Bush will rise somewhat from the depths, but it is hard to imagine him going higher than say number 30 out of 43, and certainly, there is NO chance that he will surpass his father, rated 18th out of 42 in the C Span poll in 2009.