LETS JUST KEEP THE AMERICA THE WAY WE HAD IT TO BEGIN WITH

Despite attempts to keep this for himself  Donald Trump did not invent the idea of making America great again. In fact I believe that in his mind as well as a small percentage of Americans, i.r. the rich and ultra rich, it really means let’s keep America Greedy again.  This is in fact the second iteration of the ME! generation.

Actually Ronald Reagan, and full disclosure I was never a fan of his, but compared to now it was the good old days when Reagan said Let’s make America Great Again.

 

America was pretty much ok at the time. We were behind in terms of energy self-sufficiency because we had been buying cheap oil from OPEC which was made up of mostly state-owned oil producers, many of which were based in the Middle East, but also in Mexico and Venezuela, but under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter things were looking a little brighter, though it would take many decades before we reached oil self sufficiency, and coal was being supplied to any comer (as it still is; America exports more coal to asian customers than anyone else, and Trump has not produced any of the promised coal jobs. That money goes to the wealthy mine owners, not the working class).

But let’s examine this a bit closer.

America made itself “Great” not because of rich real-estate manipulators. Its became great because of a lot of immigrants working hard. Even Trumps Grandparents and his mother were immigrants and it was they who gave-yes gave-Donny boy his money which he does a lot to lose.

 

Then there were the grunts down in the trenches–literally- -building the subways, the railroads (which used vast numbers of both Chinese and Irish immigrants), the factories where other immigrants worked producing steel, like my grand-father and father (Scotch-Irish, but immigrants several generations before they worked in Chicago). There were the famous intellectuals and freedom fighters who invented the American system (with the stain of slavery) and asked their lives to make it happen. There were the soldiers in the U.S. who fought to keep the Union rather than allow a few greedy plantation owners the right to sell or own human beings, and the Doughboys of WW I who fought, at great cost-to help bring eventual self-government to large swathes of Europe and then did even more in WW II when the threat of Fascism spread all over the planet, followed on by the Cold War, when Stalin and his minions wanted to rule the world in their own way.

The American way of life and those who have built it and defended not only that but the rights of other people around the world, and gone out of their way to do so, all the while making great scientific and cultural advances, are all the things that make America great.

 

Not great gain. From the start it has been great, even before gaining Independence it was great, and the following generations have all contributed something off their own to Keeping America Great.

 

We do not need to Make America Great Again. We must work even harder now when all of the institutions that made America to begin with are under threat, especially the Constitution and, very particularly the First Amendment.  So a very important date is coming up, and another of the things that has made America Great is under threat-the right of all Americans to rule themselves, the right to vote.

 

Numerous plots and plans are underway to strip, slowly but surely, our right to vote. There are multiple threats to suppress voters from exercising their rights. Many so-called “illegal: or “phony” voter schemes have arisen over the past few years,  all purporting to “prove” that many people are voting illegally, or stuffing ballot boxes by registering in multiple places, etc. The Supreme Court did not rule on a law that would sanction Native American voters and put  difficulties and in places veer I.D. laws that make it difficult for many people to get an I.D. In the one affecting Native Americans the State involved refuses to accept Identification issued by Native American tribes. But others make it difficult to get ID to vote in other states as well.

But Voter id and the American Legislative Exchange Council aka ALEC is the subject of another blog. This is about the her and now.

America is great because it was intended as and developed as a  democratic republic. We elect representatives and executives to run the country the Best Way Possible. To do that everyone must go and vote. Go exercise your right to vote, to free speech, to read whichever newspaper you like or listen to whatever legitimate news you choose. But If you do not vote we are all going to lose and Erica will not be great. Nor will Russia, or North Korea or even China which, in case you forgot, is a one party system, and it’s leader is a dictator.

 

So don’t believe that America even needs to be made great again.

 

America needs to be Kept Great-Always.

FIRST REPUBLICANS v.TRUMP et al

For Donald Trum, Mitch Mc Connel and Ryan, along with their sychophants to claim that they are “the Party of Lincoln” is a disgrace.

The Republican Party that ran Abraham Lincoln was a Progressive party, not a conservative, hate filled party trying to take total control of the U.S. Republic with single party control, and control of the Judiciary and silencing of the press.

That party in fact kept the Union together, made slavery as an institution illegal and-until the advent of the Jim Crow laws-made discrimination, if not a thing of the past at least a thing to be seen as unethical and un-American. There were always problems and we should never look ant the post Civil War era through rose-colored glasses.

But back to the point.

In fact the last of the Republicans of the Party of Lincoln was probably Theodore Roosevelt, though Herbert Hoover made some effort, which didn’t work out real well.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt actually took over when the Republicans floundered and failed at responding to the Wall Street Crash and susequent Depression, and decided to allow the market forces-which had no force left at that point-to reinvigorate the economy. It took a progressive Democrat to do that.

After 20 years of Democrats, Dwight Eisenhower took over as president. But he really was a centrist politically. He probably would have been elected if he registered as a democrat. But since the Democrats had held the White House for so long, he and others figured, correctly that it was time for a Republican, even if he was in essence a Republican In Name Only. Either way, either Republican or Democrat, he would have been the same centrist President.But never would he have been a Libertarian. If he had been we would not have the Interstate Highway System.

Next we had eight years of Democrats followed by a pair of controversial Republicans. The democrats were progressive giving the U.S. citizenry Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, Head Start and much, muchmore

Nixon-I will not go into Watergate here-actually did some ok and some good things. He normalized relations-or at least began normalizing them-with China. He got the EPA started. He initiated détente with the Soviet Union. The Vietnam War is another matter and could easily take up several volumes of hard-copy books, and indeed the internet as well as the actual brick-and-mortar bookstores teem with volumes about that war. Some of the seeming insanity, like threatening to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam, was just rhetoric to let the recalcitrant Vietnamese negotiators know he meant business (even Nixon wasn’t that nuts). Also, unwillingly, he got some oversight and stops in of Presidential Powers, which Congress needs to revisit nowadays.

Speaking of Reagan, why was there no multitude of endless and useless congressional hearings after nearly 250 Marines were killed in Lebanon? Were the Republicans saving their vitriol up for Hillary Clinton when 4 Americans died in Libya (versus over 240 Marines under the Reagan Presidency)?

But that, oddly, was the end. The next Republican President was Ronald Reagan. With his “Government is the problem” speech he made things hard for many people for many, many decades after. In fact we will be feeling his Presidency for a long time. I suppose George H.W. Bush wasn’t too bad.

Bill Clinton was sort of progressive, would have been if it had not been for Speaker Newt Gingrinch who wanted to make disabled children work in the poorhouse for food, with his Contract on America. And yes, I did write that as ‘Gingrinch’ on purpose. But Clinton knew how to get things done, even with the Gingrinch who stole Christmas and Everything Else.

Skip Bush the second, aka George the 3rd. Obama was not allowed to get much done because of McConnell who seems to have been scheming from the start to eventually kill the Affordable Care Act.

And now we have Trump who compares himself to Lincoln. Someone apparently copied the idea of the dogs playing poker painting, and had Trump with Lincoln, Eisenhower, both Bushes, Gerald Ford, Nixon, T.R. and Ronald Reagan sitting or standing around a table and laughing/smiling. I would rather have even Reagan or both Bushes, and for me that is saying a lot.

Every one of these others is spinning in their graves at the thought of Trump as president, and probably would, if they found themselves in the same room as him, would turn their backs to the man who would ruin the Democratic Republic they served and he wants to serve only himself.

Talk about a bad joke and a terrible painting. This is it on both counts.

COMING SOON-NEW THREAT TO THE CONSTITUTION.THE CONVENTION

For several years people out there have been farting around with the constitution, wanting to amenD it heRE and there, but other more vile plans would call for a Constitutional Convention.

Different than merely amending the constitution it could literally tear it up and propose a new one. New from beginning to end. No Free Speech. No guarantee off free Voting. No allowance to bear arms in any form. No individual rights at all.

Then they could take and do two things to the presidency. They could make him a figurehead and replace his real powers with a Prime Minister, such as they have in England. That might not be so bad, as long as it was easy to get rid of him or her when needed.

But they could replace the President with a strong man much like Vladimir Putin. They could allow him do do whatever he pleases and do it whenever he wants. He could rule by fiat. He could take direct control of the military at any time, it could take away some of the rights that states have now. It could even take the National Guard away from State Control.

In short it could take what is a pretty good way right now and turn it into an autocratic mess with the President having a lot of power,

Or it could take away much of the presidents power and give it to Congress, where they experience gridlock much of the time. That would possibly not be good, though during the current crisis it looks like congress needs actually look at the way he rules by fiat, doing such things as reneging on woodland types of designations, or protected areas and reserves. This president has reversed several of the executive orders of President Obama concerning ares, mostly, for preservation, such as areas he had designated in the Alaskan wilderness for preservation, thus no oil drilling, and Trump reversed the decision. Once a president does that, it should only be reversible by congressional action.

After all when congressional action result in a bill that they send to the President, he can veto the bill, and the only way congress can get it back on track is to pas it with a 2/3rds majority. Why not give the same type of authority to Congress over the President. If he wants to reverse a previous Presidents fiat by saying, ‘Why don’t we take away the status as a National Treasure to be protected and damn up the Grand Canyon?’ So he signs an Executive Order and it’s done.

It can be done. Congress had to take action to establish Wilderness Areas as total preserves for, well, wilderness. As things now work the President cannot undo that designation. Using this example though President A can designate something called Bears Ears, which is near Native American land but not on it. He thought it was worth preserving, thus no oil drilling, no mining, so he preserved it by Executive Order. Along comesPresident B and, because oil and mining executives want to ruin the land, he signed an order which significantly shrank the size of it so mining and oil exploration can take place.

This is the type of arrogant things President should not do. No past President has ever undone the protections for wildlife, preserving areas from being abused in the name of money, while at the same time saving endangered wildlife, reefs and pristine waters, cultural significant sites, and more. That should be restricted, by Congressional action or if needed by constitutional Amendment. There are some things a President should not be allowed to do, including selling his influence and abusing peoples rights, such as refugees (keeping in mind that the U.S. is signatory to an international concordat that says persons claiming refugee status must-read that as MUST- be given a hearing before a judge. Trump is ignoring this, illegally. That should also be addressed in an amendment.

This does not mean we advocate gutting Presidential Authority, but we have seen a Congress controlled by Republicans that are complicit in High Crimes and Misdemeanors. This needs to end. We do not need a full, open ended Constitutional Convention, but we need to have some way of reigning in a mad man or despot, as well as forcing Congress-especially the Senate- to
stand up and do due diligence in their advice and consent role, and the honesty of sharing information during hearings reflecting on this country.The way Judiciary Committee has held back what could be important information regarding an appointee is scandalous. Same with the House Intelligence Committee. All of this information must be available to all members of those committees, and withholding it should be literally unconstitutional.

Stay tuned to this site, as these matters will come up soon, and repeatedly.