Category: George W. Bush

Have we been conditioned to accept T-rump’s stupidity?

Without even having read Radley Balko’s opinion in the Washington Post, I have hinted at the fact in my blog posts that the American public has become accustomed to the rantings of a psychopathic liar that has somehow taken over the White House. Here’s what Balko had to say…

“…Tuesday night’s fit of demagoguery masquerading as a presidential address is a frightening demonstration of how his first month in office has left those of who are supposed to hold him accountable timid and shell-shocked.”

Demagoguery, let’s examine it historically along with the prevailing example. Salon was profiling Donald Trump as a modern-day demagogue back in June of 2016, five months before the election that made history and put America on a track to a sure eventual collapse. In an elaborate use of adjectives and adverbs, the website talked of the virus infecting our politics,” which had its contemporary kickoff during the George W. Bush/Karl Rove era. There are other bad actors and the whole conglomeration worked tediously together to give us what’s known today as President Donald Trump.

Here’s how Salon describes it…

“There have been stretches of history when this virus lay dormant. Sometimes it would flare up here and there, then fade away after a brief but fierce burst of fever. At other moments, it has spread with the speed of a firestorm, a pandemic consuming everything in its path, sucking away the oxygen of democracy and freedom.”

 There were others early-on who developed a formula and format for those to use in later years. Men like …

“’Pitchfork Ben’ Tillman, the South Carolina governor and senator who led vigilante terror attacks with a gang called the Red Shirts and praised the efficiency of lynch mobs.”

“Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo, a member of the Ku Klux Klan who vilified ethnic minorities and deplored the ‘mongrelization’ of the white race.”

“Louisiana’s corrupt and dictatorial Huey Long, who promised to make ‘Every Man a King.'”

“George Wallace, the governor of Alabama and four-time presidential candidate who vowed, ‘Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.'”

The demagogue that stands out in U.S. history is Joseph McCarthy, US senator from Wisconsin, that Salon describes, “…until now perhaps our most destructive demagogue.” Until now. McCarthyism was another psychopathic lunatic’s way of drawing attention to himself by terrorizing the country into believing there was a Communist under every rock. There weren’t, and several lives were ruined in the process. I had a close friend in Los Angeles who was a movie screenwriter who knew a few fellow writers whose lives were affected. And tailgunner Joe didn’t even have a bully pulpit.

Remember Roy Cohn, he was chief counsel to McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee and wouldn’t you know it, the bad seed is back. As Salon put it, “Cohn was McCarthy’s henchman, a master of dark deeds and dirty tricks. “Cohn didn’t go down with McCarthy when Edward R. Murrow exposed him on his CBS show, “See it Now.” But not Cohn, who continued his operations in New York where he ended up working for mob bosses and, yes, Donald Trump’s father, Fred, until later years when he made his McCarthy-like methods of strong-arm manipulation available to Donald.

Bernie Sanders on what Donald Trump did not say in his speech to Congress:

Cohn also introduced Trump to the man who was his campaign chair, Paul Manafort, someone who made a fortune representing dictators. Salon has an interesting analogy between Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump…

“So the ghost of Joseph McCarthy lives on in Donald Trump as he accuses President Obama of treason, slanders women, mocks people with disabilities and impugns every politician or journalist who dares call him out for the liar and bamboozler he is. The ghosts of all the past American demagogues live on in him as well, although none of them have ever been so dangerous.”

Returning to the present and Balko’s charge that Donald John has conditioned us to just accept him the way he is and go on with our business, letting him run the country in the ground. Balko says, “We need to be better than that.” And we should. The writer comments…

“We’ve been conditioned to accept behavior from the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth that we’d never have accepted from his predecessors (and I have pretty low expectations of presidents) — that we’d never accept from a friend, relative, pastor or community leader — as long as he spares us and our group from his attacks.”

Trump’s speech to Congress included the same lies that we have heard over and over, except that this time he delivered them in a toned-down rhetoric that is as much like the normal Trump as Scotch is like bourbon. Where it came from I do not know, but I suspect it is another of his underhanded tactics to appease a few concerned Republicans along the way who get their skivvies in a dither when he’s too much the bad boy. Balko is really up in arms over the bi-partisan praise when this wasn’t the man talking who has been ranting and raving such absurdities for his first month in office.

Balko disparages Trump’s speech grammar, saying it was “terribly written,” and “full of his typical doom-and-gloom pronouncements about America,” quoting one of his most egregious passages…

“Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

Just hours before the speech Donald John had indicated that some of the attacks, above, had been perpetrated by Jews themselves. More extreme exaggeration almost to the point of lying…

“We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross — and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.”

At best, this statement is borderline bogus. More on drugs…

“I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation.”

Balko documents that when George W. Bush attempted the same thing, by coercing the Mexican

Mexican drug casualties

government into militarizing its drug war, the country’s homicide rate jumped by nearly 250 percent. Regarding Trump’s “banned” list…

“It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values. We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.”

Now here’s a refuting fact, “The odds of your average American being killed by a terrorist attack committed by a refugee are astronomical, about one in 3.6 billion.”

There is more and Radley Balko’s opinion is chock full of solid facts and a good reasoning where the United States stands after only a month of the reign of Donald Trump you can read here. It’s up to us where we go from there.

LIBERALS NEED TO WAKE UP AND DO THE RIGHT THING-CONTINUED

In his book, The Liberal Imagination, Lionel Trilling carped that there were “no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.” Then along came right-wing intellectuals like Milton Friedman, James Q. Wilson, Alan Bloom and Gertrude Himmelfarb that liberals had to contend with for a while. But not for long. Anything representing intellectualism by the GOP went down the tubes with the advent of Karl Rove and the George W. Bush administration. It was basically replaced with “HATE.” Something that has served Republicans well with the inauguration of Barack Obama for President. In The Nation, Trilling points out that today no intellectual equals exist with George Will saying, “that rape victims enjoy their ‘privileges,’ that Ebola can be spread through the air, and that global warming is a hoax.” Trilling adds that, “Conservative ‘wise man’ Bill Kristol has achieved this status by proving himself, time and again, to be the worst predictor in the history of the punditocracy.”

With this ammunition, Progressives can be passionate over keeping the White House in 2016 as well as retaking Congress.

More later.

KOCH BROTHERS ALLIES/BIG DONORS POUT OVER THEIR IMAGE

The Koch Brothers and their minions of moneybags are taking heat, so supporters, like USA Today, are trying to clean up their image by saying things like, “The American Dream is simply too far out of reach for far too many people.” Now who the hell do they think made it unreachable? The administration of George W. Bush squandered this “Dream” started with Bill Clinton during his presidency, saying as late as June of 2014, the middle class is the key to ending poverty. Keep the middle class healthy and it will pull up the country. All the Koch Brothers and their followers are interested in is to build wealth in the upper 1% of incomes and to hell with the rest.

WANT A BETTER ECONOMY? FORBES SAYS VOTE DEMOCRAT

In 2012 the very conservative magazine, Forbes, said “…laissez faire policies [strongly opposing government intervention] had far less benefits than expected, and in fact produced almost universal negative economic outcomes for the nation!” This 80-year analysis is significant for such a right wing publication. Thus, the horrid results George W. Bush left for Barack Obama which the current President has turned around into an increasingly improving economy. Forbes examines the compelling positive results of Democrats over the GOP in personal disposable income, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), corporate profits, stock market return, reduction of national debt and avoiding Great Depressions and Great Recessions. With these facts, anyone voting Republican on November 4 wants to return to the days of GWB.

How to fix a broken U.S. Government

 
I realize I am no expert on social science, wasn’t even really interested in the subject in college, but as a lowly progressive political blogger, I have become fascinated with our political system and its intricate workings.  Actually, the system isn’t working now and if we don’t fix it soon, this country’s downfall could make the decline and fall of the Roman Empire look like a Sunday school picnic.  We are no longer on the fiscal cliff, or curb as some described the problem, we are now headed toward a newly created political buzz word, “sequestration.”

Sequestration is defined by the HuffPost as, “referring to a series of draconian budget cuts, totaling $1.2 trillion, that {were} scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. These cuts are evenly split between defense and domestic discretionary spending (with some exemptions, such as Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits).”  The GOP doesn’t want any more short-term fixes but refuses to budge on additional revenue mixed with spending cuts.  The President is standing firm on what he wants and is likely to win the battle in the long run.

Is the problem caused entirely by Republicans?  The answer is no and on the Democratic side, there is still the extreme left rallying for raising taxes and limiting spending cuts.  In some cases we have noticed House Speaker John Boehner shifting from his supporters on the right, particularly the fanatics of the Tea Party, moving further toward the middle for some reconciliation on the issues.  Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also seems conciliatory in his latest speeches.  So what is the problem?  I’m not sure anyone really knows.

The first thing that comes to mind is that the GOP hasn’t recovered from an election they thought they would win.  And Sen. McConnell has never retreated from his statement to make Obama a one-term President, which failed.  According to JoePalermo in November of 2012, “McConnell now promises the next best thing: Continue to abuse the filibuster as no Senate minority in American history has and gum up the works while demanding total capitulation on Obama’s part before any bill can escape the clutches of his icy, deadening hand.”

Sam Rayburn, former Democratic Speaker of the house from Texas, was considered by many to be the great negotiator.  Lyndon Johnson was known to be good at bringing parties together in agreement on serious matters and even Barack Obama is looked on as a pretty good negotiator, considering the passage of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.  What happened to the art of negotiation, which almost anyone will agree is the only objective way to arrive at a governing solution?  Where did this political necessity fall by the wayside, almost into oblivion?

Looking back at George W. Bush, he had a rather diverse Congress with the majority swinging from one party to the other in his eight years.  Regardless, with GWB it was his way or the highway, thanks in part to his henchman, Karl Rove.  Going back a few years, Ronald Reagan was known as the great communicator and managed to get a lot of what he wanted.  George H. W. Bush was known for managing the end of the cold war.  Bill Clinton was able to get those in his party to vote for the largest tax increase in history in 1993. He also passed sweeping trade and welfare reforms in the face of withering fire from the left. 

Not bad on both sides, except for the tyranny of George W. Bush, who many say will go down in history as this country’s worst president.

Negotiation is defined simply as a “mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement.”  Well it’s not simple, at least as far as this Congress is concerned, a body that closed out 2012 with a 14% approval rating.  In picking that definition apart, there are three basic ingredients that have to be satisfied.  The first is there must be a discussion; second, there must be agreement on terms to fix the problem; and third, you must arrive at an agreement.  Here’s how I sum that up: 

There are discussions that tend to lead nowhere, basically blamed on a GOP Congress of “NO” to anything Barack Obama proposes.  No one can come to terms because Republicans would rather obstruct Democratic legislation than present their own, except in rare cases.  There can be no agreement because of one and two.


In simplification, it reminds me of the kid that didn’t like the way the football game was going, so he picked up his ball and went home.  Sure, the Dems have to shoulder some of the blame in this standoff, but they might be more amenable to the conservatives if they weren’t constantly being stonewalled.  But there is one thing that the right had better understand and that is the fact that Progressives are here to stay, and Republicans no longer have a free ride.

There is categorically no excuse for not voting…this means you

I have never heard as much bitching and moaning over the political situation in the decades I have been voting as I do today.  The public is convinced that all politicians are either dishonest, incompetent or just plain stupid.  Just maybe all three.  According to an August 2012 Gallup Poll, one in ten people approve of the job Congress is doing.  This gang of “incompetents” passed only 61 laws which are the fewest since 1947.  All because of ridiculous partisan bickering.
And then there are the presidential candidates who probably bear the most extreme feelings of whether or not they are fit for office.  The love/hate relationship voters have with Barack Obama is guided in many cases by just a dislike for the man, which I have a very hard time understanding.  If you watched the President on Dave Letterman recently and then can tell me what there is to dislike about him, I would probably wonder about your acuity.
You may not like Obama’s politics but that is an entirely different matter.  There are some who don’t but that is why you get off your butt and go to the polls in November.  I talked to someone recently that had been so against Barack Obama that this person would never vote for him.  But she told me that now she was going to vote for the President because she doesn’t like Mitt Romney’s politics.  But the point is she is going to vote for the better of two candidates.



Pres. Barack Obama

That’s the American way.  Not sulk and pick up your ballot and go home.  That’s what Susan Page of USA Today says 90 million Americans will do in November.  At best a USA Today/Suffolk University Poll says there’s a 50% chance these laggards will go to the polls.  These slackers “back Obama’s re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-to-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote.”  Excuse the name calling but you deserve it.

And here are the reasons the poll found for not voting: “They’re too busy. They aren’t excited about either candidate. Their vote doesn’t really matter. And nothing ever gets done, anyway.  Let’s analyze these one by one.
  • Too busy.  That kind of excuse reflects the caliber of the Congress who is to busy trying to get reelected, establish a power base, fill their pockets while in office or all three.
  • Not excited over either candidate.  Any individual who cannot do the simple homework to find out which candidate has the most ideas that represent their position is just plain lazy and perhaps dull-witted. 
  • Vote doesn’t matter.  Not only is this a stupid attitude, it is mathematically impossible when you consider the popular vote does impact the Electoral College vote.  How the hell do these people think we arrive at a majority?
  • Nothing ever gets done.  Well, you know, this viewpoint does have some validity when you consider the Congress we are currently stuck with.  But this attitude fades in comparison with the fact that the way to get something done is to get rid of the current Congress.  To do that you must vote.
Susan Page found one mother of three, Jamie Palmer of St. Joseph, MO, who is 35 and has never voted.  This is incredible, the example of the worst kind of American citizen, who should be placed last on the list in order to enjoy the benefits of this country.  She, of course, should have no say in local, state or federal government.  For anyone to even admit this shows a mentality that would certainly bring the U.S. down if there were too many like her.
The demographics of poll respondents are as follows:
“Only a third calls their household finances good or excellent. Close to half say their annual household income is less than $60,000 a year. They tend to have lower levels of education than likely voters; nearly six in 10 have no more than a high school diploma.”
I was serious about throwing out all the incumbent bums in Congress and bringing in fresh blood, perhaps even less politically oriented in Washington’s ways.  Of course I am biased and would favor those who are progressive, but if you aren’t, you still must vote. 



Mitt Romney

As far as the candidates for president, you do have a choice between two distinct kinds of government.  Barack Obama represents the kind that is beginning to work today as is portrayed by all the upturn signs in the economy.  It’s been slow but his approach is working and shows resilience along with progress.

Mitt Romney represents the kind of government that fostered the financial meltdown resulting in record home foreclosures and jobs loss.  I am talking about George W. Bush’s administration which left President Obama with the worst mess since the Great Depression.

You do have a choice but you must vote to decide just what kind of government the majority of the American public wants.

Obama’s momentum strengthens his Electoral vote advantage

John King of CNN says that Barack Obama “must make history again.”  He refers, of course, to the President’s huge win over Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008.  He became the first African American president, a fact that continues to bother many closet racists.  He had good ideas on how to take this country out of the mire George W. Bush had led America into, but many of his programs were stymied by a GOP Congress unwilling to support anything he proposed.
Middle cass on the brink
The GOP way
Some got through like his health care plan, the auto bailout and the stimulus programs.  During the whole process, Republicans brought the U.S. economy to the brink of disaster with their refusal to drop the tax breaks for the wealthy enacted under GWB.  And we will no doubt re-experience this log-jam once again in November and December of this year.  The election is November 6, and King says Obama has an easier path to 270 votes than Mitt Romney.
Here are the numbers from 5 Electoral College polls:
  • 270 To Win:            Obama 201   Romney 191
  • New York Times      Obama 237   Romney 206
  • Real Clear Politics   Obama 237   Romney 191
  • USA Today             Obama 196   Romney 191
  • CNN                        Obama 237   Romney 191
If you average these out, Obama comes out with 221.6, Romney 194.
If you add in the more liberal Huff Post poll where Obama is 313 to Romney’s 206, the new average is Obama 267.3, Romney 200.
But there is even more good news for the President.  New CNN battleground polls show high marks for the President compared to his GOP contender from likely voters in three top states:
  • Ohio             Obama 50%            Romney 43%
  • Florida          Obama 49%            Romney 44%
  • Virginia         Obama 49%            Romney 44%
The experts say that Mitt Romney must win Florida and Ohio.  Taking this even further, only 6% of Ohio voters are undecided, 5% for both Florida and Virginia.  That leaves the Romney/Ryan Bobbsey Twins little room in which to wiggle.
Obama’s 2008 “Change”
History tells us that no incumbent has ever won the presidency since Franklin D. Roosevelt with unemployment over 8%, but apparently the voting public is saying, wait a minute, we’ve had enough of these radical conservatives and want more of the “change” Barack Obama promised.  The unemployment rate was 8.3% when Obama took office and remained the same as of August.  In Michigan where the auto bailout was felt strongest, Obama leads Romney 47% to 37%.    
And then there is the Hispanic vote which the GOP seems to have lost long ago.  No self-respecting Latino would vote for a party that has denied them their rights for years and continues to put barriers in the way of everything President Obama has tried to do for this group.  It is generally agreed that Barack Obama has not done enough for overall immigration reform but given the chance in a second term, I think this President will come through for Hispanics. 



Obama’s Hispanic vote

Obama does hold his own with African-Americans, Latinos and young people, as well as women voters.  He does have problems like Wisconsin and North Carolina, among a few others.  But in my book, Romney signed his doom by selecting Paul Ryan as VP, just like McCain with Sarah Palin.  The latter was obviously unfit to run, but Ryan is equally radical in his politics, especially on the budget.  Even GWB said the budget he presented to him was “irresponsible.”

With Mitt Romney’s flip-flop positions combined with recent foot-in-mouth disease, he just might seal the deal sometime in October.  But Barack Obama has no reason to expect success at this point, only to make hay while the momentum continues.  Barring some catastrophic blunder or event, however, the current momentum could carry the President into November and a well-earned second term.

It’s the jobs…stupid

President Obama didn’t say that.  I did, with no remorse for the comment.  It was directed at Rpublicans in Congress who are keeping more people from going back to work and preventing those already jobless from getting the benefits necessary to find work by opposing the President’s Jobs legislation.  We are in this situation because GOP policies don’t work, having had 8 years under George W. Bush to force them down the throats of the American public.
The White House has provided some interesting material to bloggers and other media nationwide designed to get the President’s jobs bill before the American public so they can dare Republicans and some reluctant Democrats not to back it.  If I were jobless, or had a relative or even knew someone who was jobless—and I do—I would tell my congressional representative to pass this bill…or else.  And I will.

Yes.  Enough is enough!  It’s time to back the “no-sayers” into a corner and make them accountable for not supporting Obama in his drive to put folks back to work.  And here’s how he’ll do it:
·       Tax cuts for small business
·       Putting workers back to work while rebuilding America
·       Extension of unemployment insurance
·       Tax relief for the American family
·       Fully paid for by Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan
Go to the White House page and see how The American Jobs Act affects your state.  You can also see what the Act means to schools and download fact sheets: Comprehensive, Short.  There is an overview on the major points of the bill including, Tax Cuts, Rebuilding America, Pathways to work, Tax Relief and Method of paying for the program.  If you are up to it, you can read the entire 199 pages of the Act at this site.

The President says his jobs act will create 1.9 million jobs which should be music to the ears of the jobless.  That crescendo you hear building from the working class should resonate with the obstructionists in the GOP as a warning that, come 2012, they are the people who will most likely go to the polls.  But this isn’t about an election or politics at all, this is about survival.

If GWB caused the current economic problems, Obama still must fix them

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Pres. Barack Obama
President Barack Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion budget deficit.  George W. Bush inherited a $300 billion budget surplus.  In the former President’s two terms, well-known economist Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor, lists five components that tanked the fiscal condition of the U.S.
  •  A cut in taxes
  • GWB spent $2 trillion on Iraq and Afghan wars
  • Discretionary spending was doubled
  • Addition of entitlements like Medicare drug benefit
  • The bailing out of banks and financial institutions
Roubini said, “We destroyed our fiscal sustainability before President Obama came to power.”  He added, “We’re lucky that this Great Recession is not turning into another Great Depression.”  Roubini also talks of more recession in the next year or two.  The professor is distinguished for his warning in 2005 that the housing bubble would cause an economic crisis, which it did.
All this said, Barack Obama needs to start being a President.  Agreed, he has many accomplishments we can be thankful for, the most important of which is Health Care Reform.  You can see a list of 90 of his efforts since entering office here.  But the President must change the course of a spiraling-down economy, and that would be best served by standing up to a Republican House and holding his ground on issues he truly believes in.  Let the public decide who is wrong.
Things are not going well for Obama.  His approval rating now is the lowest of his presidency.  Many voters are tired of speeches that promise; they want results.  Some Democrats are even distancing themselves from him.  A rare positive sign is that Blacks are encouraged by his jobs plan, but some economists say it isn’t enough. 
But the one thread running through all this is a GOP battalion that is committed to making President Obama fail.  One major impetus behind this is the fanatical group, the Tea Party, which is loathed by most Americans but has some supernatural hold over Republican conservatives.  Bungling presidential candidates like Bachmann and Perry cater to these pathetic people who seem bent on bringing down the U.S.

All’s well that ends well, and the real hope of this progressive is that 2012 will see radical changes in Washington, maybe even the throwing out of some old hands on the left, but still with significant moves away from the right.