Happy 107th Birthday, President Lyndon B. Johnson!

107 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson was born, destined to have a career that would change the lives of more Americans than any other President, including Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Many will remind us of the disastrous Vietnam War, which LBJ waged, and which forced him out of office, giving up a chance to be only the second President to serve more than eight years, the only one doing so being FDR!

Many will point out that LBJ is accused of being involved in the assassination plot against John F. Kennedy, well spread by several authors, but still seen as highly speculative.

Many will tell us of the statements that LBJ was possibly the most corrupt President in American history, and the one who enriched his own fortune more than any other, without any positive proof of their allegations.

Many will look to find other chinks in the armor of the 36th President, and certainly, LBJ would be the first to declare his own imperfections, including his tendency to use racist Southern terms for African Americans, common in Dixie in his lifetime.

But even with whatever shortcomings there were, and whatever mostly unprovable accusations that are lodged against him, there is certainly another LBJ–the man who used the powers of his office to better the lives of more Americans—-the elderly, the sick, the poor, the uneducated, the ethnic minorities, deprived whites, women—-than any President before him, and unmatched by any President since his time.

The Great Society did so much good, much of it still with us 50 years later, a goal that LBJ had, to match and surpass his “idol”, FDR, and his New Deal programs of 30 years earlier.

Poverty was cut dramatically in the time of LBJ; more people had a chance to get an education than ever before; Medicare and Medicaid came into being, providing a “safety net” added to the Social Security programs of FDR; Civil Rights laws finally fulfilled the purpose of what Abraham Lincoln had promoted a century earlier; the environment, consumer protection, transportation and urban affairs improvement became the priority of the federal government; public radio and television offered enlightenment and still do; and we saw the beginnings of opportunity for top positions in the federal government for ethnic minorities who had never played a role in government affairs before.

So despite obvious faults and shortcomings, Happy 107th Birthday, Mr. President!

Six Months Of Rick Scott As Governor Of Florida: What Hath The Voters Wrought?

It has now been six months for Rick Scott as Governor of Florida, and he stands at a low point in public opinion polls, recently 29 percent, but now down to 27 percent, the lowest of all Governors of the 50 states!

Scott, who came from a corrupt background of Medicare fraud into politics, and spent over $70 million of his own fortune to win the Governorship by about 50,000 votes statewide and less than a majority of all votes cast, has set a horrific record as Governor, but is arrogant enough to claim he does not care about his public opinion ratings!

As a recent Miami Times article outlined, Rick Scott has been responsible for the following tragic developments in the Sunshine state:

1. Mandated drug testing for state workers and welfare recipients, although there are law suits in process against these tests, and he seems to have backed off on state workers taking such tests.

2. Enacted Jim Crow style voting laws, creating new restrictions on voting, and undermining the Voting Rights Act of 1965, while bringing back memories of the voting restrictions that existed before that federal law went into effect under Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidency.

3. Fought a Prescription Drug Database, even though Florida is the state with the most drug abuse, but finally backed away after a lot of pressure was brought, even by his own Attorney General.

4. Privatized Medicaid, causing confusion and loss of services and funding for severely disabled Florida citizens, with cases now in court against this, and appeals by individual families in process.

5. Outsourced prisons to his political supporters, who want to privatize them, despite fact that Florida already has more prisoners than any other state except Texas, and has made no prison reforms which are badly needed, so instead prisons are being made a profit industry.

6. Cut jobless benefits to 23 weeks in a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.

7. Gave tax breaks to large corporations while not being concerned about the survival of unemployed people.

8. Slashed public education funding dramatically in a state which ranks among the worst in educational standards, but at same time took away tenure from teachers, and required ALL public workers to pay three percent of their income for their pension plans, a pay cut in difficult times, and undermining morale.

9. Worked aggressively against environmental protection programs statewide, ignoring the significance of the Everglades and other environmentally sensitive lands, instead promoting development. by private corporations.

10. Rejected high speed rail development funds from the federal government for expansion in the high traffic area of Central Florida.

11.Refused to be interviewed by the news media, comments only in Twitter style, and set up signing of bills to include only friends and supporters of what he is doing.

Governor Scott has shown the height of arrogance and insensitivity to groups that are being victimized by his policies, and Florida must, somehow, bear three and a half more years of this, unless Scott can be found to have done something illegal, leading to impeachment, or IF a recall movement can be brought about, but unlikely since it is not provided for in the state constitution.

This is the result of citizens NOT paying attention, and either not voting, or not understanding the issues when they do vote!

It is a good lesson in the importance of citizens paying attention to politics and public issues in the future, so as to avoid the nightmare Florida is going through right now!

Joe Republican: This about sums it up…

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It’s noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”