Top Of My Head

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Tag: democrats

Thoughts On President Johnson…

I love history, but quite honestly, I don’t know a lot about President Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency.  I consider this slightly odd, since I was born during the last year of his Presidency.  I should know something.  Suffice it to say, that I know more about Nixon’s Presidency (plus, I can remember his Presidency) than Johnson’s.  What I do know about President Johnson, I learned from The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro.

Anyway, I came across an article from 1973 in The Atlantic called “The Last Days of the President“.  It’s a fascinating look at a man.  I highly recommend it.

Here’s a part I found most fascinating.  Lyndon Johnson “never doubted that he could have won the 1968 election against Richard Nixon…”  In 1971, he told Leo Janos (the author of the article),  “My daddy was only sixty-two when he died, and I figured that with my history of heart trouble I’d never live through another four years. The American people had enough of Presidents dying in office.”

According to the article,  President Johnson had an actuarial study completed on his life, which predicted that he would die at age 64, which he did on January 22, 1973.  Making an assumption that he might have gone earlier, Hubert Humphrey would have been the next President.  It is, also, quite possible, that Humphrey would have beaten Nixon, if he ran again in 1972.  It is quite possible that Nixon would never have run again and there wouldn’t have been a Nixon Presidency.

Think about that – No Nixon Presidency means no Watergate, no open door to China, no Presidential visit to China, no resignation, and no Ford Presidency.  I wonder if that would have ushered in a Ronald Reagan Presidency before the 1980s?

I think the main thing would be no Watergate.  Watergate opened the flood gates of government distrust that has exploded into this massive hatred and distrust of our own leaders.  I wonder why it would be like to trust your government?  Would that mean we wouldn’t have Bundy in Oregon pointing rifles at Federal Agents?  Would there have been a Waco?  A 9/11?

What would have changed if President Johnson had decided to run again and won?

I don’t have the answer to that question, but it is fascinating to think about.

The next item on the list was how Johnson knew what was the score.  In the article, he is quoted as saying, “The first thing Democrats do when they take power is find where the control levers are. But the first thing Republicans do is investigate Democrats. I don’t know why they do it but you can count on it.”  It appears that some things haven’t changed at all.

It just goes to show how the past can be seen in the future and present.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Blessings…

Credit – Bid Laden and the Bad Economy

Reading the comments on any news site is like traveling through a verbal minefield. Those on the right want to blame President Obama for our bad economy and those on the left want to blame former President Bush (George W, not George Herbert Walker). Then, regarding Bid Laden’s death, those on the right want to give credit to former President Bush (again, G.W.) and those on the left want to give credit to President Obama.

Both sides are wrong.

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the capture of Bin Laden – but, that’s not going to stop me from commenting. Here’s what I know based on various news reports.

I know that he was found in Pakistan. I know that at one point Pakistan was our “friend”. At some point, we decided that we needed more CIA operatives in Pakistan and we put them there. Eventually, these extra operatives were able to find out the necessary information on Bin Laden’s whereabouts and that is when President Obama was brought fully into the loop (Please don’t fool yourself in thinking that the CIA shares every bit of information with the President, they don’t.) and he made the decision to go and get Bin Laden.

Intelligence gathering takes time, just in case you don’t know. If the information had been gathered four years ago, Mission Accomplish would’ve rang true for Bush II, but it didn’t. Should President Obama be allowed to bask in glory of having found and disposing of our nation’s greatest enemy on his watch? Damn straight he should. Give the man his moment in the sun. He gave the order, he approved the mission. If it had failed, he would’ve taken the blame (remember Carter?). He, along with our fine Navy Seals – take that special forces (what can I say, I’m a Navy brat) – should feel proud for this successful mission.

Now, I would like to say one more thing. Former President George W. Bush is not dissing President Obama by not appearing at Ground Zero with him. He’s doing exactly what he said he would do: stay out of the spotlight. With the exception of his book tour, Bush has stayed away from being center stage. His father did it during Clinton’s presidency and now, George W. Bush is following in his father’s footsteps. He’s doing what the right wing doesn’t want done: He’s giving Obama his day of glory. I think that’s very nice of him.

Now, about the economy. Here’s a very short economic history lesson:

The repeal of the Glass-Seag­al Act in 1999 by the Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act started the financial mess (by removing the barrier between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks. This led to the sub prime mortgage crisis, which nearly brought this country to it’s knees. For the record, the Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act was sponsored by Republican­s and signed into law by a Democrat. Both parties are to blame.

Now, I believe that when you coupled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act with Bush’s ridiculous tax cuts for the rich, you just added fuel to the fire. Profits became king, which made the banks and Wall Street take even more chances. However; I am not saying that the Bush tax cuts were the sole reason, just that they exasperated the situation. I am not sure what the tax cuts would’ve done to our economy without the repeal of the Glass-Seagal Act.

In other words, and I’ll say it again, both parties are to blame.

You know who isn’t to blame?

President Obama.

No matter how you slice it, you can’t lay the blame of a bad economy at the feet of a man who wasn’t in power when the economy started to tank. Even though I don’t believe Bush caused the bad economy, there’s at least some cause and effect there and precedence for blaming him. Remember, Carter was blame for the bad economy he inherited from Ford and Reagan was blamed for the bad economy he inherited from Carter. (The 70’s and early 80’s were just a bad time.) In fact, I don’t think Reagan would be so beloved today if he had to deal with the 24 hour news channels and the bloggers like Obama does. But, that’s for another blog.

So, in a nutshell, let’s stop all this petty bullshit and start actually working together. Let’s stop shouting crap at each other and start crossing the aisle. Neither side has a monopoly on what’s wrong for our country and neither side has a monopoly on what’s right for our country. We’re never going to get anywhere if we keep hoping the President fails or slam him all the time. We can’t solve any of our problems talking about those blowhards, Palin and Trump – two people who couldn’t be elected dog catcher to the stars. Let’s start having open dialogues about the issues with some facts, not falsehoods and let’s figure out how to solve our problems. We didn’t kill Bin Laden without some cooperation on both sides and we won’t be able to fix the economy without it.

Tax Cuts Won’t Work

Let me start by saying that I like both Paul Ryan and President Obama.  I’m sure that both men are sincere in their beliefs that their budget plans are good for America.  I believe that Paul Ryan is being misled by the old thinking that raising the upper classes automatically raises the bottom classes.  Thirty years after Reagan’s trickle down theory began, we know this isn’t true.  And, yes, I can state many numbers and statistics to prove it.  President Obama doesn’t want to hurt the lower classes.  He knows that they have been hit the most by this recession.  He knows that the slow recovery is not helping.  He wants to put more money in their pocket.

Both men are wrong.

You cannot pay off debt by lowering your income.  It just doesn’t work.  You can cut costs, but if you don’t have the money to pay the bills, you’re just going to get into a deeper hole.

Ryan’s budget plan of substidizing insurance to cover medicare may save the government money, but it is only going to hurt the people who can ill afford that hurt.

Obama’s budget plan that makes cuts across the board is more reasonable.

But, if both plans insist on tax cuts, neither plan will work.

Even David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director, has agreed.  President Obama invoked Stockman’s name in his speech.  Stockman spoke with NPR’s Scott Simon (hear complete interview here) and stated the following:  “The problem with the Ryan plan is it is trying to balance the budget on the back of the poor and you can’t do that.  The President’s talking about reducing the deficit entirely on the top 2% of the population and that won’t work neither.  And, neither side is being honest with the middle class and that is that we’re going to have to have tax increases to pay for this huge amount of government we seem to want…”

You should really listen to the whole interview.  David Stockman is the man who said tax cuts without spending cuts would result in the debt we now have.  But, thirty years ago, nobody was listening.

Losers to the Left of Me, Losers to the Right

Will you be watching the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight? According to the NBC website, Christine O’Donnell will be on the show. Why is that? She lost. What can she possibly say? What about her will be so entertaining? Are we going to make the same mistake with Christine O’Donnell that we have made with Sarah Palin?

If Leno wants to talk to a politician, perhaps, he could talk to the man who defeated her, Chris Coons. If he wants to talk to a right-wing or tea party politician, why doesn’t he talk with Rand Paul – who WON his election?

Why indeed.

It is because we are becoming a nation of losers. We actually celebrate the people who lose more than we celebrate the people who win. Last Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers trounced the Dallas Cowboys. And, what did the announcers discuss? The poor Cowboys. Hardly any praise for Green Bay and these guys kept talking about things that weren’t even game related. Worse announcing ever. During the last half, it was almost like they weren’t even watching the game.

And, that brings me back to Sarah Palin. After the Republicans loss in 2008, Palin was touted like some golden girl. We’re still not rid of her two years later. And, history is repeating itself because here comes O’Donnell onto the Tonight Show.

It’s just sad. It would be different if O’Donnell had won or had been someone with a lot of political experience and public recognition and now he wants to talk to her.

I guess it really shouldn’t matter to me, except I fear what is going to happen to our nation as time goes by and we keep celebrating the losers and dummying down everything.

Still think the Republicans Give a Damn about You?

Then read this:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/28/gop-blocks-democrats-jobs-outsourcing-bill/#more-125146

The Republicans blocked a bill that help keep American jobs from going overseas.  It “would have ended certain tax breaks for companies expanding overseas while giving new tax incentives to businesses bringing jobs home.”

The Republicans claim that this is just an election ploy.

I claim that the Republicans really don’t give a flying fig about you, me, our children and grandchildren.  They would rather grandstand and swing their arms screaming about a disaster than actually pass a bill that will help the nation.

Haven’t we had enough?

I keep seeing the polls that says Johnson is leading against Feingold and I hang my head.  It seems that my fellow Wisconsinites don’t know a good thing when they see it.  They’re fooled by the rainmaker.

If we give the keys to the nation back to the Republicans, we get what we deserve.

See, I’m not worried about myself.  I am a highly trained, highly skilled worker.  Unless the country completely falls apart, I’ll have a job.  I might have to cut back a little bit, but I haven’t been on unemployment since 2000 and that only lasted a few months.  I put money away into my 401k and my IRA, so retirement will be a breeze for me.

I worry about you and your family.  You there – yes, you.  The one who has been out of work for six months with three little mouths to feed.  How much is in your children’s college fund?  How much is in your 401k? Savings?  How close is your house to being paid off?  What is your education level?  Your skill level?  If you find a job, will it pay enough?

Think long and hard about the person you give your vote to.

Is he rich?

Does he understand that if our jobs keep going overseas, there won’t be anyone here to tax?

Does he understand that the Department of Education ensures that poorer Americans can get a good education, so they can move up one more rung on the ladder?

Does he understand that a family shouldn’t have to choose between medication and eating?

Did he vote to extend unemployment benefits?

Does he support Social Security?  Because, you’re going to need every dime you can get from Social Security.

Does he understand how the economy works?

Does he understand that by allowing banks to branch out into investment banks caused the Wall Street crisis?

Does he get it?

Can you trust him to get the job done?

Will he honestly look out for you? Or, is he just going to make promises he can’t / won’t keep?

Think about it.

This isn’t a fight about gay marriage and family values.

This isn’t a fight about socialism and true conservatives.

This is a fight for our future and who is going to do a better job of ensuring the AVERAGE American a good future.

Look at the Republicans’ record on their votes for the AVERAGE American — under their reign, the gap between the top tier and the bottom tier grew exponentially.  Do you think they give a rat’s ass about you?

He doesn’t.  The Republicans haven’t cared about the American Public since Theodore Roosevelt left office in 1909.

But, go ahead, give them your vote.  You’re not hurting me – they’ll never really pass a law that will put gay people in jail – like Montana and Texas Republicans want.  They would lose a huge wedge issue that motivates their “base”.

So, I’ll be all right.  I’ll keep right on working, like I always have, but you – you don’t need your job to go overseas.  You need to support your family.

Good luck with that when the Republicans take over again.

Why I’m voting Democrat in November

We had eight years of Republican plans, tax cuts, wars and where did it get this country?

Before Bush II, 90% of the nation’s wealth was held by 10% of Americans.  After Bush II, 90% of the nation’s wealth is held by 1% of Americans.

We are in the midst of two wars, a financial meltdown and unemployment that hasn’t been this high since 1982 – under Ronald Reagan.

And, how do the Republicans want to get us out of this mess?

They want to drive down the same potholed road of tax cuts and deregulation.  We’ve driven down this road before and it is why, in the word’s of our President, we’re in a ditch.

Thanks to the Tea Party’s misguided movement, the Republicans have decided to come to their senses and cut the deficit.  They are claiming lower taxes will make the world go round and it is simply not true.

Their idea of lower taxes is to make the upper 1% pay less than the lower 50%.

Their idea of change is business as usual.

Their idea of health care is to hand you a band aid while you bleed to death.

There is no way I’m going to vote Republican come November.  We can’t hand them back the keys to the kingdom.  There is too much at stake to let the party of no back in control.

Vote Democrat in November 2010.

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