Progressive Era

Supreme Court Could Be Repealing The 20th Century In Challenge To 1984 Chevron Case Decision

Conservative right wing groups are now attempting to repeal the 20th century concept of federal government regulation of the environment, financial markets, public health, and the workplace, in a challenge to the Chevron USA vs National Resources Defense Council case of 1984, decided by a unanimmous 6 member court of Republicans and conservatives.

The decision was written by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, and agreed with by Chief Justice Warren Burger, and Associate Justices William Brennan, Lewis Powell, Harry Blackmun, and Byron White. All but White were appointed by Republican Presidents. And three Justices did not participate, Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, and Thurgood Marshall, with only Marshall appointed by a Democratic President.

So the Court of 1984 had SEVEN Republican appointments, but reasonable Justices, as compared to the present Supreme Court of six Republican appointments.

So the case now being considered is an attempt to wipe out the federal regulatory state–in effect wiping out the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and followup by Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy; the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and followup by Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton; and the commitment to further reforms by Barack Obama and Joe Biden! Notice that Richard Nixon is included with this list of Democratic Presidents who promoted federal regulation and reforms, the one Republican, who despite his shortcomings, actually added to federal regulation!

We are at a turning point, where our federal government could be weakened and go back as far as the Gilded Age of the late 19th century by an extremist Supreme Court. This is a constitutional crisis of massive proportions, and puts American democracy at risk!

Centennial Of Warren G. Harding’s Death, And Accession Of Calvin Coolidge Coming Up On August 2-3!

The centennial of the death of President Warren G. Harding is arriving on Wednesday, August 2, with Harding passing away of natural causes in San Francisco, shocking the nation, as Harding was on the way to finishing a Western tour, which had included visiting the territory of Alaska.

The swearing in of President Calvin Coolidge took place in the early morning hours on August 3, with Coolidge being sworn in at his father’s homestead in Vermont, where Coolidge was visiting, and with his father, a local justice of the peace, swearing in his son, before he returned to Washington DC, and was again sworn in later in the day.

This was the sixth time a President had died in office, and was the second time that the Vice President who succeeded to the Presidency went on to win a full term of office in 1924, following Theodore Roosevelt, who succeeded the assasinated William McKinley in 1901, and went on to win a full term in 1904.

Harding is regarded by scholars as a failed President, with massive scandals occurring, similar to those of a half century earlier under President Ulysses S. Grant in the 1870s. While he had some successes, he is ranked in the bottom five of all Presidents, in the same category as Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Donald Trump, and Franklin Pierce.

Calvin Coolidge is perceived as higher in ranking, generally at the top of the bottom third of Presidents, but shortly after he left office, the Great Depression occurred, and his administration is perceived as having had major negative impact on the economy which led to the Crash on Wall Street seven months after his retirement.

Certainly, the Presidency is seen as having declined in the 1920s, after the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson, and seeing rising fortunes after Herbert Hoover, with the coming to the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 Presidential election.

Ohio Train Derailment And Nebraska Child Labor Scandal Signs Of Corporate Abuse!

Sadly, in 2023, we have examples of corporate abuse as seen with the recent East Palestine, Ohio derailment of dangerous chemicals, on a train two miles long, with only two workers operating the train.

Also, in Nebraska, we have early teens doing dirty and dangerous work as cleaning workers in a slaughter house, breaking the child labor laws, and exploiting immigrant children.

How this is possible is due to continued big business and conservative and Republican attempts to weaken federal regulation, as occurred under Donald Trump and earlier Republican Presidents, despite the work of Barack Obama to strengthen such regulation.

The issues of government regulation of business and labor rights were dealt with in the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; again in the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and again in the 1960s under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. It emerged again in the Obama Presidency, but then was backtracked on under Donald Trump, as with earlier Republican Presidents, particularly Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

It is essential to have actions to prevent the kinds of tragedies that have occurred recently. The answer is not to attack Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and President Biden. And the Republican attack on the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other federal regulatory agencies must stop!

America Is In A New “Gilded Age” Of Obscene Wealth And Monopoly Capitalism: Reform Is Essential!

At the beginning of the 20th century, America escaped the Gilded Age period of obscene wealth and monopoly capitalism, under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Robert LaFollette Sr., George Norris, and others who promoted the Progressive Era.

The Progressive Era was far from perfect, but it gave hope of escaping the worst elements of the GIlded Age in the last third of the 19th century.

We have had ups and downs since the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the New Frontier, and Great Society, particularly with the triumph of conservatism under Ronald Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, and then made ever worse by Donald Trump.

But now, the news of billionaires having arrangements to keep their wealth from being taxed by overseas havens and even South Dakota allowing such reprehensible tactics is highly disturbing. This, along with the clear cut monopoly of Facebook promoting division, conflict, polarization, and affecting even young girls’ self image due to the toxic Instagram social media site, cries out for strong movement toward another “Progressive Era”.

The idea that concentration of wealth and power rivals and is clearly greater than the time of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and other monopolists of the late 19th and early 20th century is totally outrageous!

But is it possible in a nation with a 50-50 US Senate and a six vote margin in the House of Representatives to accomplish necessary reform?

This present, disturbing situation is a massive crisis of American democracy, with the threat of Donald Trump possibly regaining power, and destroying any possibility of reform!

Is Joe Biden Promoting A New “Progressive Era?” It Sure Seems So!

There is a growing sentiment that President Joe Biden is promoting a new “Progressive Era”, and he has gained support from former skeptics, including Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and also, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!

On Wednesday night, he will speak to a joint session of Congress, the equivalent of a State of the Union Address, although that does not occur in the first months of a Presidency, for no clear reason.

Joe Biden has had a great start, and has promoted activist government on a level not seen since Lyndon B. Johnson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And his popularity and support among the American people is high after almost one hundred days in office.

Whether this can be sustained over the long haul is of course the big mystery!

The Importance Of Social Justice In American Democracy

If an advanced modern nation, and one that strives to promote equal opportunity and advancement for all, fails to make social justice its key commitment for the future, then the nation has failed in its mission.

The battle in America is to strive to keep the advancements of social justice fought for over the century from the Progressive Era onward, but presently, we are seeing extremist right wing forces that wish to destroy the reforms and revert America back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

If it was up to right wing forces, labor would have no bargaining rights; racial and ethnic minorities would return to a pattern of denial of their civil rights; women would come under the dominance of their husbands and of religious extremists who wish to deny them the right to control of their own destiny; basic social programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and assistance to the disabled would be wiped out; and the wealthy would have no accountability to the nation that gave them the opportunity to prosper, and would use every trick possible to avoid paying a fair share of taxes, and would have no concern about the inequities of society, leading to a large portion of the population struggling to make ends meet.

So for a right wing propagandist to say that the Democratic Party is far left, when it is anything but that, is simply a sign of greed, selfishness, lack of compassion and empathy for those not born to wealth, or having unfair advantages in life without any accountability or conscience about the responsibility they owe to America.

The true danger in America is not a far left Democratic party, which does not really exist, but rather a far right, fascist oriented Republican Party, willing to sacrifice the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and obsessed with an obscene acquisition of wealth for the sake of self aggrandizement.

A New Gilded Age Is Upon Us With Donald Trump’s Policies Favoring The One Percent And Corporations

In the late 19th century, America went through the “Gilded Age”, a period where industrial capitalism emerged, and led to a small percentage of people who became super wealthy on the backs of workers, immigrants, racial minorities, women, and the poor.

A large percentage of Americans lived in deprivation, as greed and selfishness reigned, and the Republican Party gave up its basic principles and became the willing collaborator with wealthy industrialists and corporations.

But a reaction against the corruption and scandals in government at all levels, and the lack of ethics and morality and compassion by corporate leaders led to a reform movement, known as the Progressive Era.

The hope is that the present disgraceful and corrupt system of government and corporations who are tied to the worst President in American history, Donald Trump, will cause a similar reaction among voters and citizens, and usher in a new Progressive Era in 2020, with a young President, similar to Theodore Roosevelt, who inspired many to seek reform of the worst evils of society.

Donald Trump’s policies favor the one percent and the corporations, and it is time for a peaceful “revolution” to throw the “rascals” out and bring fundamental democratic reforms that restore faith in the American “dream”.

The odds are growing that Donald Trump will suffer a defeat on the scale of Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, both Presidents who deserved better than they had occur to them, but richly deserved to happen to Donald Trump!

America Will Never Be A “Socialist” Country, But We Have “Socialist” Ideas Americans Want To Keep: Social Security, Medicare, Environmental, Labor, Consumer, Health Care, Education, And Civil Rights Laws, All Which Make Capitalism Work Better!

Donald Trump attacked “Socialism” in the State of the Union address, knowing full well that is simply a code word to attack progressive reforms that have become part of the American tradition and system of social justice.

“Socialism” in America is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Environmental Laws, Federal Labor Laws, Federal Consumer Laws, Federal Health Care, Education and Civil Rights Laws.

These laws are the hard, years fought for, efforts of primarily Democrats and some moderate Republicans over the century since Theodore Roosevelt, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even contributions of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and innumerable Senators and Congressmen and state governors who saw these laws as essential for American advancement.

We are a nation of capitalism but with “socialism” mixed in, due to the promotion of such legislation by the Socialist Party of the 20th century, and its leaders, including Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and most Americans support and see the need for the laws we have.

We are not going to go back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, as the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the 1960s, and the Obama era have made our nation better, and the right wing attack on all these reforms will be fought bitterly and defeated!

The Centennial Of The Death Of Theodore Roosevelt

Today marks the Centennial of the death of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.

Although TR passed away at the young age of 60, he had led a life few people, and few Presidents, had led.

He had run for Mayor of New York City at the young age of 28 in 1886. He had been the head of the NYC Police Board in 1895-1897, the equivalent in modern terms of being Police Commissioner. He had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897-1898, and then at age 39 had led troops into battle (The Rough Riders) in the Spanish American War in the spring and summer of 1898, becoming a war hero. He had then, immediately after his war service, been elected Governor of New York in the fall of 1898, followed by becoming Vice President at the young age of 42 in 1901.

And then, fate would have it that President William McKinley would be assassinated in September 1901, making TR our youngest President at 42 years and 10 and a half months, with TR being a path breaking President for the next seven and a half years. He would expand the authority and scope of the Presidency, and become a model for many future Presidents.

TR would become the greatest environmental President, and promote the growing role of the federal government in American life, and advocating “progressivism”, proclaiming he was proud to call himself a “progressive”, and ushering in what has become known in American history as the “Progressive Era” years from 1900-1917.

TR would bring America also into world diplomacy and naval supremacy, with his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating the end of the Russo Japanese War at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and his manipulation that led to the building of the Panama Canal.

TR was larger than life, and promoted newspapers and periodicals across the nation to send White House correspondents to follow the statements, actions, and antics of the 26th President. He was always the center of attention, in and out of office, as he craved public adulation. He has been regarded by historians and political scientists, on a consistent basis, as a “Near Great” President, as number 4 in scholarly polls over the long haul, just behind three “Great” Presidents–Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

TR’s impact on the nation has been massive and will continue to be so, and only Lincoln is rated higher as a Republican President in American history. And it is clear that TR would be shocked, were he to return and see the conservative swing of the party in the past four decades since Ronald Reagan, and the extremist and dangerous trend of Donald Trump in the past two years. It seems certain that TR would be on the barricades protesting the great damage done to the Presidency by the 45th President, who has set out to destroy everything the 26th President brought about in the early 20th century.

The 166th Anniversary Of The “National Newspaper” With More Pulitzer Prizes Than Any Other: The New York Times

Today is the 166th Anniversary of a treasured newspaper, seen as the “National Newspaper” of America, the New York Times.

Founded on September 18, 1851, the New York Times has recorded America’s history and that of the world through the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, The Great Depression and the New Deal, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam War, The Watergate Scandal, The Reagan and Clinton Era, September 11, the Obama Era, and now the Trump Presidency and the challenges it presents to a free press.

Through it all, it has been the leader in news reporting and scoops often unique from others, and has been under attack by those who are angry that it exposes evil and wrong doing so often.

The New York Times has made its mistakes and had some stories later demonstrated to be untrue or manufactured, and is certainly far from perfect, but what source is perfect?

But it has admitted its shortcomings when they have become evident.

It is the newspaper of record, with the best index for researchers, writers, and historians. It has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper, and has the highest paper circulation of any metropolitan daily newspaper in America.

It is the only paper to have such an index going back to its founding in 1851. Any one doing newspaper research would need to search the archives of the NY Times as a beginning point for other research.

It has a slogan: “All The News That’s Fit To Print”, very appropriate for a great newspaper that has changed knowledge by its efforts in all fields of learning and public interest.