Standard And Poors

The Month Of August: A Crisis Month In History For The American Presidency!

Now that we have seen the month of August slip into history, it is worthwhile to look back and notice how significant the month is in Presidential history, how it is often a crisis month!

Examples include:

August 24, 1814–Great Britain invaded and burned the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC during the War of 1812, sending President James Madison and Congress fleeing to nearby Baltimore. This was the only invasion of American territory until Pearl Harbor in 1941.

August 4, 1914–World War I began in full swing, as all of the major European powers had finally declared war a week after the initial declaration. This alarmed President Woodrow Wilson issued a declaration that the United States would remain “neutral in thought, as well as action”, a statement which could not be upheld as the war progressed into a long term stalemate, leading to US entrance in 1917.

August 6 and 9, 1945–Newly inaugurated President Harry Truman, in office less than four months after the sudden death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, unleashes the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, leading to the end of World War II.

August 13, 1961–The Soviet Union begins the construction of the Berlin Wall, separating East Berlin from West Berlin, during the first year of the administration of President John F. Kennedy. It will remain a symbol of oppression until its destruction in November 1989.

August 4, 1964–The Tonkin Gulf Incident is reported during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, a supposed attack on US Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese patrol boats. This led to Johnson’s request of a resolution allowing the use of force to react to the reported aggression, and was the first step in the escalation of the war in Vietnam to a full scale conflict.

August 9, 1974–President Richard Nixon resigned from office, the first President to take such action, due to the “smoking gun” tape that showed his involvement in a coverup of the Watergate scandal. President Gerald Ford succeeded him in office, and later pardoned Nixon from prosecution, allowing Nixon to evade punishment, including being removed from office in an impeachment trial had he stayed in office.

August 2, 1990–Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, invaded its oil rich neighbor, Kuwait, alarming Saudi Arabia and other Arab and oil nations, and led to US involvement, in unison with a United Nations coalition, to force Iraq out of Kuwait, but also putting US troops for the first time in the Middle East, and inciting Muslims who became involved in terrorism through participation with Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden,

August 2011–President Barack Obama faced the crisis of the Debt Ceiling, which led to a lowering of the credit rating of the United States by Standard and Poor’s and a stock market crisis. Additionally, the Atlantic Coast Earthquake and Hurricane Irene became major crises, along with the final steps toward the removal of Moammar Gaddafi from power in Libya after a five month effort by the US, with backing of NATO allies, the United Nations, and the Arab League.

So there has to be a sign of relief that the ugly month of August has again passed into history!

Obama Successes In Midst Of Difficult Times!

Barack Obama has had a rough August, what with the battle over the debt ceiling, the lowering of the Triple A credit rating by Standard and Poor’s, the resulting stock market disarray, and the growing discontent in the polls with the unemployment crisis.

And yet, Obama has succeeded in recent days in a number of areas, which should raise his public opinion polls somewhat.

First, he has accomplished in combination with the Arab League, NATO, and UN backing, with the overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, although the leader is not yet accounted for.

Second, the number two man in the Al Qaeda terrorist leadership, after the death of Osama Bin Laden, has been murdered in Pakistan, indicating further disruption in Al Qaeda leadership, and making some think Al Qaeda may never be the same. This comes on top of the successful elimination of numerous other Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives over the past couple of years by the Obama Administration!

Finally, it is already evident that Obama’s government has responded far better on Hurricane Irene than George W. Bush did on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2006. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is doing a superb job, and the same can be said for the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano!

So in the midst of much criticism and bad times, there are some developments to applaud, and to prove once again, the ups and the downs of being President of the United States!

President Vs. Congress: Three Times As Popular!

Opponents have made a big deal over the fact that President Barack Obama had fallen down to 39 percent in public opinion ratings over the last week, after the stock market gyrations and the Standard and Poor’s downgrading of US debt after the Debt Ceiling Crisis.

But now, Obama has gone back up to 41 percent in new polls, while the Congress, with a Republican House majority, has slipped from 14 percent positive rating to 13 percent, an all time low!

And this comes upon the earlier poll that shows that the Democrats have a seven point edge on the Republicans in a generic matchup for the 2012 Congressional elections.

So the GOP has actually lost public support at a crucial time, and it is involved in a internal struggle between Mainstream Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, and the Tea Party Republicans such as Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann for the soul of the party.

This is only good for President Obama, as columnist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post points out today in his column!

The GOP Race Down To Four Candidates: Bachmann, Perry, Romney, Huntsman!

So the 2012 Republican Presidential race is down to FOUR candidates in the real world: Establishment Republicans Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both happening to be Mormons: and Tea Party Republicans Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, born evangelical Christians who promote combination of church and state and have followers who believe Mormons are a cult and not truly Christians!

What a mess the Republicans are in, and it should make Barack Obama feel very comforted after the rough times he has had lately with the Debt Ceiling debate, the lowering of the credit rating from Triple A to Double A Plus by Standard and Poor’s, and the stock market gyrations of the past week!

The Republican Party may boast that they are on the way to defeat of Barack Obama, but instead they are on the way to a bloodletting in the caucuses and primaries, with the Iowa caucus likely to be a battle between Perry and Bachmann, and the New Hampshire primary likely to be a battle between Romney and Huntsman. The South Carolina primary will likely be a battle between the survivor of Iowa and the winner in New Hampshire, and then Florida will play a major role, as the fourth largest state, in determining who the leading candidate will be.

But likely, the battle will go on into the other caucus and primary states and could drag out to June, and severely weaken the party, and strengthen Obama.

So forget Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich completely, and Tim Pawlenty has already bowed out ot the race!

And realize, after the bloodletting that will go on in the GOP, the only real hope that will exist for the Republicans to defeat Barack Obama will be IF they nominate either Romney or Huntsman, with the hope by Establishment Republicans that neither will have been fatally wounded during the caucuses and primaries!

If either Perry nor Bachmann end up as the nominee, the election will be a “cakewalk” for Barack Obama.

The upcoming battle can only benefit Barack Obama, as it demonstrates the right wing extremism prevalent in the Republican Party!

Texas Governor Rick Perry: Savior Of The Republican Party And The Nation? NO!

The author is shocked that Texas Governor Rick Perry is scheduled to announce his candidacy for President tomorrow, on the day of the Iowa Ames Straw Poll.

It seemed clear all along that all Rick Perry was trying to do was get attention, and build up his massive ego further. He had said he had no interest in the Presidency, but apparently he has been tempted and enticed to run because of all the attention he is getting, which he clearly craves! So this is an ego trip, nothing else!

Is Governor Rick Perry qualified to be President? Well, he IS the Governor of Texas, the second largest state in population and land area, and has been for the past eleven years, longer than any governor in the country.

However, one must realize that the Governor of Texas is more of an honorary position, as it is literally the WEAKEST Governorship constitutionally in the whole nation of 50 states! The Governor of Texas is a media star because of the tremendous size and population of Texas, but he has very little authority and power, and has loads of free time to pursue other ambitions, a fact that helped George W. Bush decide to seek the White House!

It is also said that Rick Perry has presided over a tremendous increase of employment, about 40 percent of the whole nation’s growth in employment in this recession, and Perry loves to brag about it!

But the fact that the vast majority of these jobs are MINIMUM WAGE is ignored, as if one can live and support a family on a minimum wage job! And the fact that the military and oil companies have a major role in Texas also distorts the reality of employment!

The fact is that Texas ranks very low on education funding, as well as educational curriculum in history and science being distorted and inaccurate to the extreme!

It is a fact that poverty in Texas is widespread, one of the worst levels of poverty in America! But Perry has no concern for the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly or anyone else, and instead prefers to promote states rights, as if that is the basic meaning of the US Constitution, which it clearly is exactly the opposite, federal supremacy!

It is the fact that health care is very inadequate for millions of Texans under Rick Perry, but Perry has no concern about that reality! Instead, he is refusing to cooperate on the establishment of the Obama Health Care plan, preferring to sue in federal court to deny health care to millions of Texans!

It is the fact that Rick Perry is described by many as a great campaigner, but a very lazy, shiftless governor who avoids work when he can, so it is obvious he loves the battle but not the challenge of leadership!

It is a fact that Rick Perry has no clue to an understanding of economics, and would be a disaster for us, having no clue as to how to promote an economic recovery!

It is a fact that Rick Perry is quite stupid in reality, and is best noted for his cockiness and swagger, reminding many of George W. Bush, with the only improvement from the image of Bush being that Rick Perry would be described as a more handsome man than Bush is, but are we to vote based on looks, or brains and character and intelligence, which in the long run matter more?

It is a fact that Rick Perry would love to make America a Christian nation, rather than what it is–a nation primarily of many different Christian sects, along with other religions! Perry does not believe in our basic principle of separation of church and state, and has no understanding of our history, being extremely ignorant! But then, Perry was a C and D student, much like George W. Bush, so what can one expect?

It is a fact that Rick Perry is a great fan of and is supported by the Tea Party Movement, the reckless, radical group which has helped to cause the downgrading of our credit by Standard and Poor’s, and will stop at nothing to make certain that there is NEVER any increase in taxes on the greedy, selfish top two percent of the population and the corporations, no matter how much it impoverishes the nation and makes a more stratified society with a disappearing middle class!

It is a fact that Rick Perry advocated secession of Texas from the Union,which is illegal and unconstitutional, and over which the Civil War was fought 150 years ago! Former Texas Governor, President, and Senator Sam Houston, were he alive today, would be ashamed of Rick Perry being the Governor of his beloved state, which he felt had gone wrong when it seceded from the Union in 1861 and joined the Confederacy, and courageously supported Abraham Lincoln and the Union during that Civil War!

It is a fact that the Bush family themselves oppose Perry, which says that establishment Republicans who want to remain in the mainstream, as at least father George H. W. Bush wishes, are terrified of the possibility that this unaccomplished, inferior man might be the leader of the free world, with his maniacal belief in his own superiority!

It is a fact that if Rick Perry somehow won the Presidency, the nation would suffer far worse under him than even the worst critics of Barack Obama might imagine!

If Rick Perry is the best we can gain for President in 2012, this nation is in far greater danger and trouble than we can possibly imagine in 2011!

President Obama: Why Are You MIA, When We Need You To Demonstrate Courage And Conviction For The Middle Class And The Poor?

As anyone who reads this blog knows, the author is a great fan and supporter of President Barack Obama.

The author is very pleased with a lot of the reforms that President Obama has helped to bring about in his two and a half years as President, but it is disturbing that he seems to be MIA (Missing In Action) at a crucial time like now, when the stock market is going awry after the Debt Ceiling Controversy, and the decision of Standard and Poor’s to lower the credit rating of the US government from Triple A to Double A Plus.

President Obama, you are rapidly losing the faith and support of many labor union members; blacks; Hispanics and Latinos; the young; the progressive base in the media, the universities, and Hollywood; Independents; suburban voters; the unemployed; those losing their homes; and all others who were inspired and motivated to vote for this passionate, seemingly committed progressive, when he ran for President in 2008.

What has happened to this man? He is not out there fighting against the Republicans like Harry Truman would. He is not committing himself to help the Democrats in the recall elections going on this week and next in Wisconsin, where if he had intervened in the past week, we might have seen THREE Democrats or more win, instead of two, leaving the State Senate in the hands of the Republicans who are loyal to Governor Scott Walker. Obama always said he believed in labor rights, but has done nothing this whole year to step into the battles in Wisconsin or in other states, such as Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and Maine. What is he afraid of? That he might be attacked for speaking his mind and showing his principles and beliefs regarding the middle class and the poor?

It would be far better for Barack Obama to fight tooth and nail than to seem ineffective, seem wimpy, seem scared of a challenge from the extreme Right, seem defeatist!

How can he expect us who want to support him to back him if he will not openly back us and give the opposition HELL as Truman did, or welcome the attack of his critics as Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression!

Mr. President, respectfully, it is time to get out of the White House and show the fighting spirit we expected from you, and have not seen occur!

It is time to fight for the American people, and even if you lose the Presidency in 2012 for some reason, you would go down as a statesman who did his best, rather than go down in history as a loser in every respect!

Mr. President, IMMEDIATE ACTION for a jobs program proposal and fighting openly for the people in Wisconsin and elsewhere is REQUIRED NOW!

CNN And CBS Polls Show Republican Party The Loser In Debt Ceiling Debacle!

CNN and CBS polls demonstrate that the Republican Party is looked at unfavorably by nearly six out of ten of those polled; that only 3 out of 10 look at the Tea Party Movement favorably, and that Barack Obama continues to have a much higher favorable image than anyone in Congress.

There is a tremendous anger against Congress, making the institution lower ranked than ever in polls, as low as 14 percent, while Obama rates in the low to mid 40s on performance, but higher on personal likability.

While there is disillusionment about all politicians in Congress, it is very clear that the Republican Party is reaping the harvest of their destructive, suicidal behavior in the Debt Ceiling Crisis. They are being blamed for the downgrading of the Triple A credit rating of the US by Standard and Poor’s, and they are seen, more than ever, as taking unpopular stands on labor rights, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, the environment, and taxation of the wealthy and powerful corporations, among other issues.

While the credit downgrading is a terrible development, it already seems as if the Democrats will come out stronger from the debacle, and that the Republican Party will pay the price electorally in the next round of voting!

The Blame For The Standard And Poor’s Downgrading Of America’s Credit Rating: The Recklessness Of The Tea Party Movement And The Republican Party!

The downgrading of America’s credit rating by the credit agency Standard and Poor’s last Friday evening was totally a reaction to the refusal of the Republican Party and the Tea Party Movement to negotiate and understand the need for new tax revenue, and also its carrying out a threat, all the way to the brink, to allow the government to go bankrupt, rather than agree to a clean one sentence bill raising the debt limit!

The recklessness of the Tea Party radicals demonstrates just how dangerous they are, as they had no concern before, and now hail the downgrading of credit as a victory for their cause! Just how much more irresponsible can any group be, when it will undermine the economic recovery, likely lead to a double dip recession, and make the economic collapse continue for many more years!

It is also clear that Standard and Poor’s made its decision to lower the credit rating based on incorrect information, and they failed to keep accurate track of past economic activity, which helped to lead to the greatest economic disaster in 70 years, when their ineptness helped to cause the Great Recession of 2008 and since!

Does this mean that the Democrats and Barack Obama are faultless? NO, as it is clear that Barack Obama failed to rally the American people against the opposition, refused to use the “bully pulpit”, seemed unable to understand the importance of clear communication, and has to understand that the American people will have his back if only he will show aggressiveness, make the economic future an issue of the people against the special interests, not worry about personal attacks since they will never stop anyway, and show the country that he is serious in following the example of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson in pursuing their goals, come hell or high water!

The President needs to take leadership, present a strong jobs program, and put the GOP on the spot! Even if nothing gets passed, as long as he makes the pitch for action, he will convince the nation that he is serious about jobs, and willing to put his neck out, rather than continue the “compromiser” image which fails to win Republican respect, and at the same time, alienates much of his progressive base for being too timid!

The Choice Is Clear: The McConnell Plan OR Barack Obama Takes Independent Action And Risks Impeachment!

The Debt Ceiling Crisis is down to less than a week, and Standard and Poors and Moody’s are warning of dire consequences for the American economy, with the lowering of the rating of America as credit worthy, if something is not done quickly.

It is clear that John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, cannot control the Tea Party radicals in his midst, and is in real danger of losing his Speakership in the future, whether or not his party retains control of the House of Representatives.

These reckless anarchists should be soundly defeated in the next election in 2012 to restore sanity to Washington, DC, but in the interim, something must be done to overcome the crisis.

The choice is clear! Follow the earlier suggestion of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to adopt a bill giving the President three opportunities to raise the debt level, separate from budget cuts–now, and twice next year–to go beyond Inauguration Day 2013, but with Congress able to vote on the extensions.

Most, if not all Republicans would vote no, while most Democrats would vote yes on each extension, but the President would veto each time, and as long as one third plus one of each house of Congress voted to sustain the President, the debt ceiling would be raised successfully, and end this crisis.

It would put the burden on the Democratic Party and President Obama, who theoretically would be blamed for the extensions, and it might hurt some Democrats running for re-election, but as long as 34 Democrats in the Senate and 145 in the House backed the President, it might allow those Democrats who felt endangered to vote with the Republicans against the extensions.

The thought, however, that voting for the extensions would automatically hurt the Democrats is likely to turn out incorrect, as the image of the Republicans as a reckless, extremist party that is ready to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and refuse to tax the rich, and support corporations unwilling to create jobs as they sit on $2 trillion of money, with a lot of it due to the federal government bailout in 2008-2009 and initiated by George W. Bush and his party–this is very likely to boomerang on the GOP and push them out of the majority in the House of Representatives, and help Barack Obama be re-elected President of the United States!

This McConnell plan, while far from ideal, would be better than Obama simply using the 14th Amendment, Section 4, to extend the debt, as it would cause more controversy and could lead to the impeachment process being used against him.

With a certainty, Obama would survive, and the GOP would be harmed, but if we could, somehow, avoid the turmoil of another impeachment mess, it would certainly be preferable!

So Mitch McConnell and his plan could be the savior of the moment and resolve this horrible crisis, created by the radical Tea Party anarchists,who need to be roundly defeated and removed from their position of holding America hostage!