Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Interesting Comments Below from Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's face book post

Senate Republicans are angry about delays caused by Senate Democrats on votes on Trump nominees. “I think this is a completely unprecedented level of obstruction,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican from Pennsylvania.

On what planet has Pat Toomey been? Does he recall the name Merrick Garland? I advise Republicans to stop the self-righteous indignation.

At least Democrats have good reason for their delays:

1. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have stalled the confirmation of Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s picks for Treasury secretary, because Mnuchin repeatedly lied about OneWest Bank, which he ran from 2009 to 2015, and its history of robo-signing. On two occasions in written responses, Mnuchin claimed that OneWest never engaged in robo-signing, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. Robo-signing is a tactic whereby low-level employees perjure themselves by signing foreclosure documents claiming to verify loan information, without ever reviewing the facts. An employee of OneWest admitted to robo-signing in a 2009 deposition, and the Columbus Dispatch found dozens of robo-signed OneWest documents in Ohio public records.

2. Democrats are also stalling the nomination of Tom Price, Trump’s HHS nominee, who also lied to the committee. Price received a sweetheart deal from Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biomedical company, to purchase discounted stock shares in a private placement. Price told the Senate Finance Committee that the deal was open to all investors in the company, but the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the deal was only available by invitation to fewer than 20 people in the U.S.

3. Democrats are also trying to block a vote on Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Given Trump’s insulting firing of the acting attorney general last night – saying she “betrayed” the Justice Department – it’s appropriate to question Sessions about whether he thinks she betrayed the Department, and whether he’d stand up to the Trump.

Kudos to Democrats for fighting back.

What do you think?

Editorial Cartoon of the Day Courtesy of Rick Baldwin


We need to fight the bullies now.

There is no doubt that President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, is an impeccably qualified jurist. If Judge Gorsuch had been nominated to replace any justice other than Anton Scalia, he would probably win confirmation with relative ease. Unfortunately, Democrats, given the horrible and disrespectful treatment shown to the first nominee to succeed the late Justice Scalia, Merrick Garland, need to fight this nomination with great ferocity. Bullies need to be stood up to and Democrats need to stand up to the Republican intransigence for the last year. If they do not, then their base are not going to vote for the Democratic Senators in the Red States anyway. It is better to give them candidates to vote for. In this increasingly partisan age, all candidates need to solidify the base that is reliable in turn out. If Democrats do not fight this nomination, the base may not be persuadable even if they later fight other battles. We need to fight this one now to prove we will not bow down to bullies.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Not the first time an Administration has had a rough start and Star Wars (S.D.I.)

Recent events in the first two weeks of the Trump Administration is not the first time a Presidential Administration has faced a rough start to the beginnings of their terms. These "rough" starts are not equal in magnitude or potential long terms effects but they do illustrate that there is a learning curve from the transition period. Excellent works that deal with these periods include Hedrick Smith's The Power Game and David Gergen's Eyewitness to Power.

1977: President Carter's staff wanted to maintain such an Anti-Washington aurora in the White House that they alienated fellow Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O'Neal by giving him a nosebleed seat at Carter's inauguration. Not having an organized staff at the beginning was also problematic. There is an account that one of Carter's aides started to lead a staff meeting on January 20, 1977, because he figured he was the oldest one in the room and he could.

Needless to say, President Reagan (another Washington outsider) and his people learned what not to do from the Carter experience and made attempts to cultivate positive relationships with everyone and organized a very professional staff (complete with Deputy Secretaries) ready to go on day one.


1993: President Clinton stepped into political quicksand by saying he intended to take away discrimination against gays in the military. Although it may seem odd to most today, it was a hot button issue that cost President Clinton (who won the popular vote with only 43 percent of the vote) a lot of political capital (even among conservative members of his own party like former Senator Sam Nunn)  as he was about to launch the drive for his economic and health care programs.

Now there is one example from the third year of the Reagan Administration that is also illustrative here. Without wide consultation with department heads and political and global allies across the spectrum, President Reagan launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (S.D.I. or Star Wars as it was known). Like President Trump's executive order, S.D.I. was met with awe and skepticism. Although it would have the long-term effect of helping bring Soviet Leader Gorbachev to the negotiating table on arms reduction, it was not well received when first announced and was mocked on most news shows.

The common factor between all these events is that before execution, it is more prudent to adequately vet these policies/ideas (positive or negative, right or wrong)  for short and long term ramifications before carrying them out

Obama back in the news

Historically, former Presidents take time off when they leave the Oval Office and maintain a respectable silence while their successors get broken in. It is quite revealing that ten days into the Trump Presidency, former President Obama interjected himself into the controversy surrounding the Current President's Executive Order on refugees and immigration from Muslim majority countries that have had nothing to do with terrorist attacks on the United States. The former President's vocal support for the protestors should signal the "professional" elements of the Trump Administration that a course correction is necessary and that governing based on the support from the minority of the population that enabled a slim electoral college victory in November is not a sustainable strategy given the majority of the country view this Presidency (at historically comparable periods) at record negative levels.

"Anne Frank Today is a Syrian Girl"

Very interesting article from August of the New York Times from Nicholas Kristof. It seems appropriate considering the President's recent Executive Order.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/opinion/anne-frank-today-is-a-syrian-girl.html

Editorial Cartoon of the Day courtesy of Mike Luckovich


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Weekend Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Parish Nath, Cagle Cartoons.com


Weekend Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune on refugee situation


Weekend Editorial Cartoon: Interesting Frankenstein Analogy courtesy of Darrin Bell


Governor Ducey's Agenda


Interesting article from the Arizona Republic on Governor Ducey's agenda and how it has pleasantly surprised some progressives in the state.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2017/01/29/arizona-doug-ducey-budget-proposals-education-funding/96804026/

Meanwhile in Russia and Mississippi

Please pay attention to rights being restricted and compromised in our country and abroad.

In Russia, the Russian Duma voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize domestic violence.

The Governor of the state of Mississippi signed a bill allowing businesses to refuse to serve LGBT members if it violated their religious views.

Society should move forward, not backward.

Back to the 1920's: Do we really want to go there?

Being a history teacher, I can not help but notice Trump policies seem to have a goal of turning the clock back to the 1920's where racism was condoned and the KKK was a respected part in some regions. United States involvement in international organizations (the League of Nations at that time) was nonexistent as isolationism (or America First as it would be known when World War Two began)prevailed. Immigration restrictions were popular as laws against non-whites (back then the white population only included people of British, Irish, French and German ancestry) were widely supported. There were no New Deal, Truman, Great Society, or Nixonian  Programs like Social Security, Civil Rights, the Minimum Wage, Medicare or the EPA.

We do not want to go back to the world of the 1920's.

Remember Garland

This should be the slogan among Democrats when President Trump makes his Supreme Court nomination: REMEMBER GARLAND. I noted that Senate Majority Leader McConnell was on This Week on ABC claiming the Democrats should fall in line if the nominee is well-qualified. He also hedged himself saying Republicans went along with Clinton and Obama appointments when they were made in their first terms. Democrats need to remember that Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Republicans held up the nomination of another well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, claiming that the people should decide in the election, who the next nominee should be on the High Court.

Well, the people had their say. Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by close to three million votes. Overall, there were ten million more voters who voted for candidates other than President Trump in the last election.  A clear majority of the country does not want a Trump nominee having a LIFETIME appointment to the Supreme Court. Democrats need to REMEMBER GARLAND and what McConnell said.

NEVER FORGET

In order to remember the victims of the Holocaust as past Administrations have done, it is necessary to acknowledge which groups were the victims. The Trump Administration did a disservice to history by not acknowledging the groups signaled out by the Nazi's and their confederate for extermination. These were the Jews, the Gypsies (or Romani), the Homosexuals, the Disabled, and the Political Opposition. You would think that we should never have to tell or remind an Amerian Administration, even one with Anti-Semites and white supremacists on the staff that we should NEVER FORGET

Saturday, January 28, 2017

National Security Council Reorganization: What is the rationale?

What is the rationale to take the Director of National Intelligence and the Joint Chiefs Chairperson off permanent status on the National Security Council? Why put Steve Bannon, who has no knowledge of NSC matters there?

WE CAN NOT LET IT HAPPEN HERE.

In 1917, democratic progressive parties in Russia could not unite after the February Revolution that overthrew the Tsar and forges a united coalition to overcome the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution and the Civil War that followed.

In 1924, those same Bolshevik sheep did not see the wolf that was Stalin until it was too late and their fate was sealed after a series of purges that left Stalin at the head of the Soviet Union.

In 1922, Italian disunity among The Popular Catholic Party, the Social Democrats, and even the Communists paved the way for the rise of Mussolini and his consolidation of power even though his black shirts largely created the violence and riots on the Italian streets that caused the Italian King to ask Il Duce to form a government.

In 1933, German Conservative parties and business interests took advantage of Left wing disunity and convinced President Hindenburg to make Adolph Hitler chancellor. Thinking they could control him, they allowed him to purge the country of the extreme left and right wing elements in the Night of Long Knives and turned a deaf ear to the persecution of Jews, Homosexuals, the disabled and the surviving oppoistion.


Does anyone see a pattern here? None of these groups above gained power through winning a majority at the ballot. Some may have been recipients of the democratic process of their countries but they were able to make their countries in their own ideological image when allowed to do so.

WE CAN NOT LET THAT HAPPEN HERE. People that oppose the recent executive actions of the President need to band together and form a shield that will make the President and those who support him back down.

Remember, the dictators who gained power after World War One would have backed down if opposition groups had united and stood their ground. Stalin would have been deposed had the other Bolsheviks followed the dying wishes of Lenin. Mussolini probably would have lost his grip on power in the Matteotti Affair (a socialist deputy assassinated by Black Shirts) if the Socialists rose up instead of sulking and staging a walk out in the Italian Parliament. Members of the German Officer Corp were waiting for any excuse to get rid of Hitler and they may have had the French shown some fortitude and stopped his remilitarization of the Rhine or stopped the appeasement policy (with Britain over the Sudeten Land).

OUR PUBLIC FIGURES NEED TO LEARN FROM THE OPPOSITIONS FAILURES IN THESE EXAMPLES and make a stand now before it gets more complicated or worse too late.

Irony from Israel's Prime Minsiter

Below is a link to one of the several online articles describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's support for President Trump's decision to build a wall on the United States -Mexico border.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Netanyahu-Trump-is-right-to-build-a-wall-it-worked-for-Israel-479840

The irony from the Israelis Prime Minister is that one of the reasons for the creation of the state of Israel was to create a home where Jews could escape historical areas where walled ghetto communities and Pales of Settlement that isolated Jews ran rampant before and during World War Two and the Holocaust period.

It is sad that some in Israel do not see the historical irony in this situation. While the wall bordering Gaza has its defensive necessities, it should not be used to keep law abiding people out.

We have to stop fearing the "Other"

First, it was the explorers and colonists from Spain, Portugal, and France seeking to enrich themselves landing on what they originally thought was the Eastern Shores of Asia.

Second, it was merchants and religious groups from the Netherlands and England seeking to establish a new home on the Eastern Seaboard

Third, it was the Irish escaping famine and internal strife,

Then it was the Italians, Jews and other Southern and Eastern Europeans that came looking for the American Dream as an escape from oppression and stagnation in their native lands at the turn of the nineteenth/early twentieth centuries.

On the Pacific coast during the same time period, it was the Chinese and other Asian Groups came to the United States for the same reason as their European brethren.

Today, it is largely Latinos, Russians, and people from the Middle East looking to us as a beacon of hope and renewal.

Throughout history, people from other lands have journeyed to other regions for exploration, colonization, and dreams of a better life.

Has it always been a kum ba yah affair? Absolutely not. Just ask the descendants of the Native Americans whose lands were taken by the more "civilized" (and Christianized) Europeans. Just research the rough road assimilation has taken for these groups and the difficulties endured by interacting with their own group (some of whom formed their own, sometimes, criminal networks to assert dominance) and those that had been assimilated before them.

With all this history, should we as Americans fear the "Other?" No, we should not. Immigration has added vigor and innovativeness to our nation. There would not be the United States if it was not for people wanting to emigrate here. Remember our grandparents and great parents were once the "Other."

Does that mean we should not be on our guard? Absolutely not. My grandfather had to wait several years and was separated from my grandmother and mother for a time while all the immigration paperwork was processed. Vetting is necessary and prudent. Most legal immigrants undertand vetting is necessary and takes time. It does not mean we will be 100 percent right. Most of the 9/11 terrorists were here on visas learning how to fly.

We should also honor the commitments we have made to people who have already completed the paperwork and have received permission to come into our country. Recent Executive Orders should be rewritten to account for these situations and for those and their families who have helped our military.

Does that mean we should let illegal immigration slide? Absolutely not. Illegal means it is against the law and we would not be a nation if we allowed people on all sides of our border (The President always forgets Canada) to come at their own whim. Most legal immigrants resent illegal immigrants because they did not go through the arduous process it entails.  Border Security should be maintained but people coming over illegally should be detained and given a due process hearing to determine the merits of their case. People just looking for a job or criminals escaping justice should be returned to their country. People with a talent for high demand positions usually have the good sense to go the legal route.People escaping great suffering and persecution should get consideration. That does not mean put them at the head of the line for citizenship if the case warrants. That means a process mentioned in recent Immigration Reform proposals where they would be given temporary status on the road to citizenship.

Immigrants should not be universally treated with suspicion. Like our forebears, they are looking for a chance to have a good life for their families and themselves. If the opportunity is there, they should be allowed in after a thorough vetting process. The country will be better for it.

Bonus Editorial Cartoon of the Day courtesy of Bill Day


Editorial Cartoon of the Day Courtesy of John Cuneo


Book of the Week: 1984

Given the events of the last week and its rapid ascension on the best seller list, this week's book selection is George Orwell's 1984. Who would have thought in the Twenty- First Century we would have to debate the idea of Alternative Facts. Please re-read if you have not done so since high school or college. It may help you understand parts of the next four years.

This is not what the United States is about.


President Trump has issued executive orders over the last 48 hours dealing with refugees from predominantly Muslim countries and their admittance to the United States. While most people understand the obvious reasons for this (the chance of even one potential terrorist out of all the people seeking to flee terror among the applicants) for these knee-jerk postures, this policy may not have short and long term benefits. First, as the CNN link below illustrates, the Executive Orders may be discriminatory giving priority to Christian Refugees from this area. This is not what this country is supposed to be about. I.S.I.L. and their confederates have massacred more Moslems than other groups. Do we just leave them to the tender mercies of their predators on the ground? Especially the people that had already filed the proper paperwork or the ones who actively assisted us in combatting terror in these areas. Second, not one recent act of terror on American soil has come from a person or persons who were once refugees. Finally, it appears that the executive order excludes countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. This is ironic since most of these countries have had terrorist connections. Fifteen of the Nineteen 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. There has been an increase in terrorist activity in Turkey and the Moslem Brotherhood still has a strong following in Egypt. Another irony with these nations is that Trump Enterprises has business arrangements with all of them. I guess it is family profit before National Safety.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/trump-christian-refugees/index.html?sr=fbpol012817trump-christian-refugees0401AMVODtopLink&linkId=33870373

Friday, January 27, 2017

Editorial Cartoon of the Day courtesy of Rob Rogers Pittsburgh Post Gazette


The American People have spoken. Should Democrats Fall in Line with President Trump's Supreme Court Pick?

When Justice Anton Scalia passed away last year, Senator Mitch McConnell said that the American People should decide during the election who should be on the Supreme Court. Well on November 8, the American People did decide when ten million more people voted for a candidate other than the Republican Standard Bearer Donald Trump. With that logic, Democrats should not approve President Trump's nominee who he is expected to announce next week.

Are Presidents entitled to have their nominees to the Court approved? In a word no and there are plenty of historical examples over the last 50 years to draw from.

In 1967, President Johnson nominated Abe Fortas to become the Chief Justice. Even with his party in control of Congress, he could not get him approved and he had to withdraw his nomination.

In 1969 and 1970, two of President Nixon's picks, Clement Haynesworth and G. Harold Carswell were rejected by the Senate.

In 1987, Robert Bork, a nominee of President Reagan was rejected by the Senate.

In 2005, Harriet Miers withdrew after being nominated by President Bush.

Last year, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. The Republican Senate did not have the decency to let him present his case for approval and his nomination was withdrawn.

The Garland precedent and treatment should serve notice to Republicans that there are no rewards for not playing fair.

The American People have spoken. President Trump did not win the popular vote and his nominee to the Supreme Court should be opposed.

Let us see if Senator McConnell remembers the words he spoke last year. Do not bet on it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Editorial Cartoon of the Day from the Editorial and Political Cartoon link on Facebook No Name

This is why this country should embrace cleaner forms of alternative energy.


America First Editorial Cartoon from Dr Seuss in 1941

This is a historical reminder of the role the United States has to fill in the world.



Should Private Schools get public funds through tax credits or vouchers?

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/01/26/arizona-school-choice-leaders-governor-gather-at-capitol/97080958/

This is an interesting article regarding school choice.  School Choice is good. I created and owned a Charter School for 20 years. Parents should find schools that are the best fit for their children to succeed. Charter Schools are public schools that receive money from the state based on enrollment. As part of their agreement with the state, the school is to perform well academically and morally manage its financial affairs.  Using public funds for private schools is a different matter. Unlike Charter Schools, Private schools have no accountability to the state, can charge tuition, can promote views (i.e. religious and political) that go against not for profit business guidelines and alienate people that do not have those views and can pick and choose their students. It is not sound public policy to use taxpayer funds to subsidize these educational institutions, no matter the goals of their leaders and the merits of their school programs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Would Comey call this Extremely Careless?

Why is it okay for President Trump to continue to use his unsecured Android cell phone to tweet?

Why are Kelly Ann Conway, Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, and son in law Jared Kushner still allowed to transmit data on a private email server?

What is F.B.I. Director Comey, the Department of Justice and the committees with jurisdiction going to do about this?

If Republicans are not hypocrites, they should loudly proclaim LOCK THEM UP.

Will F.B.I. Director Comey concede that they are extremely careless?

Democrats need to pounce on this and show that what they did to Secretary Clinton was baseless.

Editorial Cartoon of the day courtesy of Jen Sorenson at jensorenson.con


Trump Making China the Number One Global Power

Interesting article from the New Republic below contending that the United States withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership creates an opening for China to become the number one Economic Power in the Pacific Theater.

https://newrepublic.com/article/140081/trump-paving-way-china-rule-world

The Presidents pick for the Office of Management and Budget has a Zoe problem.

South Carolina Representative Mike Mulvaney, President Trump's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget has a Zoe problem. What is a Zoe problem? That is an historical reference to Zoe Baird, President Clinton's first Attorney General Nominee in 1993. She did not even get a vote on the Senate floor because she had failed to pay taxes on one of her employees. The second person President Clinton considered for Attorney General, Kimba Wood, had a similar problem and did not even get through the vetting process. Former Senate Majority/Minority Leader Tom Daschle had to withdraw as President Obama's first nominee for Health and Human Services because he failed to pay taxes on one of his employees.

Well Representative Mulvaney has a similar issue because he did not pay taxes on the baby sitter for his and his wife's triplets for several years. It is amazing that Republicans are not petitioning President Trump to pull this nomination. Along with the flood of executive orders this week, Republicans will forgive sins as long as it is one of their own. Call them out for this hypocrisy. Democratic Senators need to unite and not give Representative Mulvaney any one of their 48 votes. They can not let this slide.

Interesting Editorial from Tom Friedman

Interesting Editorial from Tom Friedman, the author of works like The World is Flat, on how Trump should operate and how Democrats should support/oppose him at a local progressive level as opposed to a Washington Centered One.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/opinion/smart-approaches-not-strong-arm-tactics-to-jobs.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

Legitimate but a Mandate

Donald Trump is the legitimate President of the United States. However, given his historic popular vote loss, does that mean he has a mandate. Recent History suggests a mixed message.

Presidents Nixon and Clinton won minority victories and the popular vote in their first elections (which were three way races) and pursued policies dear to their base but also had to compromise against opposition from the other party dominating Congress at that time. President Nixon is rightly credited for ushering in the Environmental Protection Agency but what is historically left out of the high school text books is he went along with it in part to stave off a more liberal alternative. The same can be said for President Clinton's Welfare Reform Legislation which was more moderate than conservatives wanted.

President George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote by 500,000 to Vice President Al Gore tried to act as if he had a mandate and within several months of his Presidency, drove the United States Senate (which had been good for Democrats in that election) into the hands of the Democrats because he had alienated moderate Republican Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont who switched to Independent and caucused with the Democrats for the remainder of his term. President Bush pursued pragmatic centrist policies like No Child Left Behind in Education and had to bring down by several hundred billion the amount of his tax cut. It was only after 9/11 and the 2002 Midterm elections when the President enjoyed wide support was he able to muscle in another tax cut and war with Iraq. To be fair, he also was able to get the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit through which has helped many Americans.

The point is despite losing the popular vote, Donald Trump is the legitimate President of the United States. But to think he has a mandate to pursue only the policies dear to him and his conservative base are foolhardy at best based on historical examples. Remember that if you include the other candidates, ten million more people voted for candidates other than the President. That means 54 percent of the country (a strong majority in this day and age) want different policies, ministers and supreme court justices than he does.He needs to be more humble and reach out more to the opposition and not just lie and insult through twitter. He can not continue with largely fabricated claims that he lost the popular vote because of three to five million illegal immigrant votes. That works for his true believers but not the other two thirds of the country.That is probably a recipe for disaster and he should change directions now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Is there going to be wall on the Canadian Border?

I wonder if President Trump will announce his plans for a wall on the Canadian Border except for the hole the Keystone Pipeline has to go through when he announces the wall with Mexico. Or will he not embark on that project because  the Canadians are white enough for him and they mostly sound like us.

Bonus Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee


Editorial Cartoon of the Day Courtesy of Andy Marlette, Pensacola News Journal



Interesting Article on one of President Trumps Populist Predecessors


I mentioned this person before. He was Father Coughlin, a renowned radio personality of the 1930s who initially supported President Franklin Roosevelt and then abandoned him and embarked on the dark side of populism making several groups, notably Jews a scapegoat for all America's ills. A must read. He like George Wallace and Pat Buchanan helped lay the long term foundation for President Trump.

http://www.ozy.com/flashback/the-priest-turned-media-mogul-who-stirred-up-a-populist-frenzy/75061?utm_source=FBOrganic&utm_medium=Social

Please read this link: It is getting fashionable to diminish the horror of the Holocaust in Germany again

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/world/europe/bjorn-hocke-alternative-for-germany.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

Once Upon a Time Republican Presidents were Pro Environment

It is really sad that the Republican Party has abandoned the progressive tradition of caring for the environment and embracing less regulation coupled with denial of human made climate change. It was a Republican President Abraham Lincoln who signed the land grant that would eventually evolve into Yosemite National Park. It was a Republican President, former Civil War General Ulysses S Grant that created Yellowstone National Park. It was a Republican President Theodore Roosevelt that started the tradition of land conservation and established the National Wildlife Refuge. He also expanded the amount of protected land and national parks. It was a Republican President Richard Nixon who compromised with Congressional Democrats to create the Environmental Protection Agency. The Clean Air Act, The Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Pesticide Act were all Nixon achievements. It was a Republican President George H.W. Bush that strengthened the Clean Air Act in his term.

May be President Trump should follow these predecessor's examples.

Monday, January 23, 2017

President Trump's Private Investigators

May be President Trump's Private Investigators will have better luck finding the alleged three to five million "illegal" votes than they did trying to find the alternative facts behind former President Obama's birth certificate.

Editorial Cartoon of the Day


Foolishness against Renewable Energy in Wyoming

Please read what members of the Wyoming State Legislature wants to do with regards to stoping the growth of renewable energies by penalizing utility companies if they use them.  They apparently will only allow utility companies to use oil, nuclear, coal, natural gas and hydroelectric. The two cleanest solar and wind are out. This seems extremely reactionary and should be stopped.

Please read link below.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2017/01/18/wyoming-considers-de-facto-prohibition-on-solar-and-wind-energy/#9fc53643942f

First Glimpses of Fascism - Extreme Right Wing Populism BEWARE

A President brings people to media events to clap for him and signal approval. He pays actors to applaud him when he announces his intention to run for President. He declares the day of his inauguration " A Day of Patriotic Devotion." He also tells people at the C.I.A. that the media made up stories of his animosity towards them, ignoring the videos of press conferences and tweets where he did just that.

This same person and his followers in the alt media gain support by blaming societies ills on the "other", the individuals that do not look like most of the members of the cabinet and staff. There are token African Americans (two) but no Hispanics I think there is one Asian. This is not a cabinet that looks like America.

This person's counselor said that there is such a thing as alternative facts which propelled literate informed people to have flash backs to high school and college readings of 1984. The Presidents cabinet choices believe in alternate realities. The Secretary of Labor Nominee does not believe in the minimum wage and thinks robots would be good substitutes for fast food workers. The Education Nominee thinks public dollars should go to religious schools. The EPA nominee does not think climate change is real/humanity influenced.

This persons press secretary said the crowd at the inauguration was the highest in history. Aerial photographs do not lie here.

The White House Web Site took out the pages on Native American Rights, Climate Change, LGBT rights and the Spanish version of the site.

AND THIS IS ALL IN THE FIRST FOUR DAYS OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY.

Mussolini and Hitler did not have the support of the majority of the people when the King of Italy/President of Germany made the fateful decisions to appoint them to their posts.

President Trump does not have the support of the majority of the people either.

Protests like the Women's March over the weekend are needed to continue so the specter of fascism-extreme right wing populism do not not show its ugly head.







Free Trade/Movement vs Protectionism in a Global Society

There are many reasons for people who feel free trade agreements like the approved North America Free Trade Agreement (N.A.F.T.A.) or the recently deceased (from the United States Perspective) Trans Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.) are bad for them and the country in general. Jobs going to countries with cheaper wages is the main one. Products like domestic automobiles not being manufactured at the rates last seen in the 1970's is another.

While Free Trade and Movement does cause adjustments and pain in some circumstances, protectionism in an increasingly global economy is not the answer. While perhaps providing a short term solution, it is a foolish strategy in the long term that will not bring long term economic and social benefits to the country as a whole. Protectionist policies helped bring on the Depression of the 1930s. 

What our leaders around the world need to do is implement policies that invest in assisting people and families displaced by free trade agreements and train/relocate them into fields/regions that will provide well paying positions and dignity. Both parties have been remiss in this and need to do better. Immigration policies also need to be reformed. Illegal Immigration should be addressed and attended to. MOST PEOPLE, even most  legal immigrants, believes illegal immigration should not  be allowed. However, legal immigration opportunities should be encouraged for people that can contribute to the American Dream. If strategies like these were adopted, would Brexit have squeaked by? Would Donald Trump have eked out an electoral college victory despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by close to three million votes and ten million votes when you include the other candidates? Would radical populist movements in Europe like Len Pen in France or the Northern League in Italy thrive and threaten their nations. 

Free Trade also enables the countries of the world to become increasingly integrated and interdependent with one another where goods and information are transported/transmitted at a more rapid rate. Legal Immigration helps reinvigorate societies. These should be encouraged as long as public policy has measures in place to help those adversely affected by them and adjust agreements like NAFTA that are over 20 years old and may need tweaking. Abandoning measures like TPP only makes potential adversaries like China (whose bank are tenants at Trump Tower) more powerful because they will move in and fill the void of what we leave behind.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

How to act???

President Trump needs to act like a President and do the things he promised like release his taxes when the "audit" is done and separate himself from his empire.

He also needs a thicker skin when legitimate issues are raised about his or his people's actions or behavior.

The people in turn should be respectful, factual and decent when addressing these concerns. Children and other family of these people should be off limits as long as they are not involved making policy.That does not mean treating them with kid gloves. Opposing people and their actions with civility and facts does not make a person weak.


Sunday Talk Shows: Kudos to Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos

I am usually not a fan of Mr. Todd and Mr. Stephanopoulos because they have a tendency to stop probing guests but at least that did not happen today with Kellyanne Conway who actually claimed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had "alternative" facts to back up the President's claims on crowd size. Below is a link to that exchange. Please watch. Good job Mr. Todd.


http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/conway-press-secretary-gave-alternative-facts-860142147643

What Kind of Populist Change do you want?

There are many divisions in our country. There are people who are doing well and there are people struggling to make ends meet who want to be better off. There is no shortage of ideas to help move our country forward. Most from conservative and liberal circles are constructive and forward looking. Others are reactionary. These ideas can be interpreted both as the positive and negative aspects of populism. One of the several accurate items President Trump said in his first address on Friday was we the people are the ones with the ultimate power. What we as citizens of this great country need to do in a decent, respectful and thoughtful manner is decide what populist course to take. Do we take the dark side of the populist tradition that has been championed by better to be forgotten figures like Father Coughlin, George Wallace and Pat Buchanan or do we embrace the forward progressive side that has been embraced by figures in our history like Robert La Follette, both Roosevelt Presidents, Harry Truman, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson and Barrack Obama that left the country largely better off . The choice is ours.

Why Trump and his people are a gift to Progressives?

As the tremendous marchers and reaction around the country and the world yesterday potentially illustrate, President Trump, his staff and pending cabinet may be a gift to Progressives. Through the Presidents comments (he did not get off to a good start with his comments at the C.I.A. yesterday), the Press Secretaries statements later that evening (apparently telling lies to the Press is okay and then calling them liars when they point it out is the new norm) and the abhorrence most of the cabinet nominees have to the departments they have been slated to head (Education, Labor and EPA for example), Progressives should not look a gift horse in the mouth and prepare and act accordingly.

Is Trump Legitimate?

A lot of American Citizens have a passionate belief that President Trump is not a legitimate President. They cite reasons ranging from his losing the popular vote to Former Secretary of State Clinton to the possible intervention of Russian backed operatives in hacking DNC and Clinton operative accounts.

While the above reasons are in all likely hood true, unless there is a smoking gun that shows Trump surrogates (or worse Trump himself) actively colluded with the Russians, then he should be treated as the legitimate President of the United States and given the respect as the holder of that office.

That does not mean his statements can not be challenged in a respectful and decent way when they are inaccurate or contrary to American values.

That does not mean his actions and their subsequent effects can not be debated in a professional manner.

That is part of what it means to be American.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Book of the Week

One of the features of this new blog will be recommendations of books that Progressives may find educational and inspirational.

This week's book is :

Unreasonable Men by Michael Wolraich
This book chronicles the time when the Republican Party had a strong Progressive Element and sponsored reforms in the work place and environment. This was the period of President Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal (his cousin F.D.R. would coin the sequel New Deal and President Truman's program would be known as the Fair Deal). The book also describes the divisions in the movement between Roosevelt and Progressive Heroes unfortunately mostly forgotten in mainstream circles today like Governor/Senator Robert La Follette and how the Republican Party split in the 1912 election with Former President Roosevelt forming what became known as the Bull Moose Party. A must read. 

Inaugural Address one day later

President Trump's Inaugural Address yesterday received mixed reviews yesterday. As mentioned on this blog yesterday, he did mention points that would find support in Progressive Circles: Infrastructure Projects and a nod that we are all Americans no matter what we are. However, his utilization of the word carnage and his description of life in parts of our country, while accurate in some places, probably do not reflect the vast norm. Take jobs. As fact checkers from both the Washington Post and Az Central point out, we have had 75 consecutive months of job growth. That is a record. In most economic indicators, President Trump is coming into a better situation than the one President Obama inherited. Crime is another area. While there have been tragic mass shootings like Orlando or Newtown over the last several years, crime itself as a whole is at lower levels compared to 20 years ago. Could things be better and improved upon? Absolutely. Are there parts of the American Populace that feel left out. Totally. However, one of the ironies of this and the last election cycle is that the people that feel the most left out, seem to have either not participated in the political process or backed a candidate whose party obstructed the last administration in the infrastructure and job creating initiatives they championed. I do agree with the President that this country needs to be rebuilt from bottom up at the city and town level at the ver least. I also think we should strive for new dreams whether to totally go green or continue Former Vice President Biden's cure cancer projects or redouble our efforts at space and deep sea exploration in order to give Americans a challenge to embrace as a people.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fact Checking President Trumps inaugural speech link from Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/20/fact-checking-president-trumps-inaugural-address/?utm_term=.c6cc8e19d268

Bill Moyers article link below: Progressives are the New Silent Majority

http://billmoyers.com/story/progressives-new-silent-majority/

The Good Situation President Trump is inheriting: Please read link below

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/19/510491692/the-america-donald-trump-is-inheriting-by-the-numbers?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=politics&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews

Not a Good Sign for Climate Change Advocates. Please read link below

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/315284-white-house-climate-change-webpage-disappears-after-trumps

President Trumps Address

Just watched President Trump's speech. To be fair, a lot of it was good and well delivered. In fact, you can see Clinton (either one) or Obama giving parts of it. Where there should be some pause were two things. He made it sound like some parts of society were out of the movie "Escape from New York" and he also was not gracious in acknowledging Hillary Clinton. I do not believe he even shook her hand. Otherwise, there was a lot to commend it.

Thank you President Obama

Thank you to President Obama for all the wonderful things his Administration accomplished over the last eight years. Good luck.

Good luck to President Elect Trump as he becomes our 45th President of the United States.  We hope you will be able to serve all the people in a just and competent fashion and move the country positively forward.

Welcome to Progressive Bull Moose

Welcome to Progressive Bull Moose Twenty First Century, a new site dedicated to discussing issues that warrant progressive solutions. We hope you enjoy our features as they develop over the near future.

I.C.E. going overboard again

Watched CNN this morning and saw a report that I.C.E. agents arrested an illegal alien, with no criminal record other than not being here le...