Making America (History) Great Again–Part 31

As the calls for the impeachment of an American president…..Maj. Danny Sjursen takes a look at the dark days around the Nixon re-election years…….

Maj. Sjursen has a unique way of looking into the soul of American history….his series should be taught…if not in high school then in college…..his perspective is similar to the writings of Howard Zinn, another historian with a great look at our history,,,the good and the bad……

Before we go to Part 31….I want to help my readers able to read all the Parts of this series…..

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10;Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21; Part 22; Part 23; Part 24; Part 25; Part 26; Part 27; Part 28; Part 29; Part 30.

This Part of the series looks at the “Dark Lecacy Of The Nixon Years”…..

He was corrupt. He was petty, angry and resentful. He was also one of the most astute politicians in the annals of the American presidency. Time after time he overcame obstacles and defeats to rise again. His genius, ultimately, was this: He envisioned a new coalition and knew how to channel white resentment over the civil rights and antiwar movements into political triumph. This was his gift, and his legacy. Americans today inhabit the partisan universe that Richard Milhous Nixon crafted. Republican leaders to this very day speak Nixon’s language and employ Nixon’s tactics of fear and anger to win massive white majorities in election upon election. Indeed, though Nixon eventually resigned in disgrace before he could be impeached, the last half-century has been rather kind to the Republican Party. Only three Democrats have been elected president in that period, and Republicans have reigned over the White House for a majority of the post-Nixon era.

For all that, Nixon remains an enigma. Though he crafted a lasting conservative majority among American voters, he also supported popular environmental and social welfare causes. He secretly bombed Laos and Cambodia and orchestrated a right-wing coup in Chile but also reached out to the Soviets and Chinese in a bold attempt to lessen Cold War tensions and achieve detente. A product of conflict, Nixon operated in the gray areas of life. Though the antiwar activists, establishment liberals and African-Americans generally hated him, Nixon won two presidential elections, cruising to victory for a second term. He was popular, far more so than many would like to admit. Although the 1960s began as a time of prosperity and hope, they produced a president who operated from and exploited anxiety and fear, and in doing so found millions of supporters. Nixon was representative of the dark side of American politics, and no one tapped into the darkness as deftly as he did. The key to his success was his ability to rally what he called the “silent majority” of frustrated Northern whites (most of whom traditionally were Democrats) and angry Southern whites (in what came to be known as his “Southern strategy”). It was cynical, and it worked.

 
As an old fart that remembers these days all too well…..appreciate the observations from this historian…..all Americans need to remember or at least learn about those dark days of the American presidency….so that it cannot happen again……(too late!)……
Advertisements

Privatization Sucks!

In 1980 with the election of Reagan and the defeat of Carter a new way of running the government came into being…..privatization…..and since it has become the “thing” the country has lost bunches of cash paying these contractors to do the jobs that use to be handled by civil service employees.

When I left the Army I became a civil servant ( not a private contractor) doing the same job that I was doing in the military.

Most jobs in the Defense Department are cheaper with civilian employees as compared to contractors, according to an internal Pentagon report, though the cost comparisons differ based on location, pay grade and job function.

Civil service workers are most likely to be less expensive than contractors performing the same work in the Washington, D.C. region and in the Southeastern United States, the report compiled by the Office of the Secretary of Defense found. More than 75 percent of comparisons in the Southeast the Pentagon ran between government and contract workers showed a higher cost for the private sector, and the capital region was not far behind. Government Executive obtained the never-before reported on document through a Freedom of Information Act request.

https://www.govexec.com/management/2018/12/civilians-are-cheaper-contractors-most-defense-jobs-internal-report-finds/153656/

There has always been waste and fraud in the process of issuing contracts…but it seems to have gotten much worse after privatization…..

I believe that a whole new way of dealing with contractor needs implementing…..ear plugs that are not safe…the Pentagon needs to fine them the total cost of the contract and not allow the company to bid again for 5 years.

But does privatization really work?

According to privatization’s supporters, this shift from public to private management is so profound that it will produce a panoply of significant improvements: boosting the efficiency and quality of remaining government activities, reducing taxes, and shrinking the size of government. In the functions that are privatized, they argue, the profit-seeking behavior of new, private sector managers will undoubtedly lead to cost cutting and greater attention to customer satisfaction.

https://hbr.org/1991/11/does-privatization-serve-the-public-interest

But make up your own mind……https://www.governing.com/topics/mgmt/pros-cons-privatizing-government-functions.html

As you may have guessed…I do not think the privatization has produced all the benefits that the Reagan bunch promised in the 1980s.

Just thinking out loud.

Is This A Constitutional Crisis?

We hear a lot about the Congress and the president and the antics by each. My thought is there is a reason for a Committee called “oversight”…..and any time anyone interferes with the operation of that principle then they should be smacked down….matters not if it is a WH attorney, a child, the AG or the president himself…..we either live by the checks and balances or we start an imperial presidency.

I remember the calls for the impeachment of a president that got his wanker licked and those that called for such are now overlooking their “oversight” duties to massage the ego of a mental midget……

The conservative media is totally ignoring the crisis brewing and even are helping it destroy the democratic scheme we had before…..

As legal experts, historians, and Democratic lawmakers have sounded the alarm over President Donald Trump’s blanket obstruction of congressional oversight of his presidency — suggesting we have reached or are approaching a constitutional crisis — Trump’s conservative media allies are brazenly misrepresenting the arguments and suggesting everything boils down to a fight over the Mueller report, claiming Trump’s obstruction is normal, and ridiculing Democrats for speaking out.

https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2019/05/14/conservative-media-downplay-trump-administrations-unprecedented-stonewalling-congressional-oversight/223698

The media reports, if we may call it that, but it is sensationalism not anything but entertainment…..

So are we in a Constitutional crisis? Yes or No or what?

It is probably safe to say that this is not how we imagined America’s little fling with representative democracy would end. But on Wednesday morning, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler described the battle unfolding between the Trump White House and Congress thusly: “The ongoing clash between congressional Democrats and President Trump over the Mueller report has turned into a full-blown constitutional crisis.” On Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the same turn of phrase, warning that the nation is now in a “constitutional crisis.”

In the totality of Trump scandals, this week’s is rather boring and technical. The problem at hand: The House Judiciary Committee seeks to interview William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, on the subject of the Mueller report. When he refused to show up, they voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for doing so. Meanwhile, the president has opted to assert seemingly boundless executive privilege in an attempt to shield the unredacted Mueller report from congressional scrutiny. The question at hand is basically: What happens in this standoff between Congress and the president? The stalemate, and immovable positioning, is certainly making it feel as though we are hurtling at high speeds toward a new precipice.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/trump-barr-constitutional-crisis-yes-no-or-wrong-question.html

To help you with the question…..there a 4 types of Constitutional crises……

People have been talking about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” since before President Trump’s election. And in the wake of Trump’s executive order restricting the ability of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations to travel to the U.S., we’re once again hearing that term a lot. Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, used the phrase to describe reports of Customs and Border Protection officials snubbing members of Congress and refusing to abide by a judge’s ruling delaying the enforcement of the order. And the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake investigated whether Trump’s disparaging remarks about a federal judge who ruled against the administration could be considered a constitutional crisis.

So what exactly is a constitutional crisis? We should be clear about what does — and, more importantly, does not — merit this description. It’s possible to have a major political crisis even if the Constitution is crystal clear on the remedy, or to have a constitutional crisis that doesn’t ruffle many feathers.

Political and legal observers generally divide constitutional crises into four categories:

The 4 Types Of Constitutional Crises

Are we in crisis?  Is the Constitution still the law of the land?

As it is today I am not so sure any more.

This simple cartoon can answer the question better than I can…..

And The Governed Lead

I wish it were so…..that the governed lead, that would be us the voter, but sadly it is a pipe dream with no footing in reality…..

What can we the governed have to look forward to between now and the 2020 election? An infrastructure plan? NO! Health care for Americans? NO! Equal pay perhaps? NO!

The truth is the we have NOTHING to look forward to for this country. NOTHING will get done…..NOTHING but theatrics, fantasy, obstruction and lies……all the things that we have come to look for from this president…..and the Congress.

2020….the Dems are as usual shooting themselves in the foot….23 candidates?  Seriously?

Do not believe the hype the politeness of the candidates there is NOTHING advantageous about 20+ candidates.

This is the first mistake.

The second is not having an adequate message, as usual…..their message is all over the place.

The older Dem Americans over 45 are all for Biden….they were the same for Hillary and look what that gave this country.  The media needs to STOP breaking it down to the minute numbers…I realize why they are doing this failed policy….they have lots of time per hour to fill and they will do so with all the speculation they can muster.

The MSM is pushing Biden hard and some are seeing him as the Bob Dole of the 21st century…….

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate field seems to grow by the day, increasing the chances that someone unexpected could emerge from the pack.

But, at the moment, the most conventional candidate is ahead in the early polls. That would be former Vice President Joe Biden.

Historically speaking, though, there isn’t much recent precedent for someone like Biden to win the presidency, even if he does snag the party’s nomination, presidential biographer Jon Meacham Told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press. Meacham, who has written books about Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and George H.W. Bush, said that when looking at Democrats who have been elected to the Oval Office in the post-World War II era, most of them have been younger, more innovative forces.

https://theweek.com/speedreads/844887/presidential-biographer-tells-nbcs-chuck-todd-that-biden-could-end-eras-bob-dole

Then there is the joke of party politics……the biggest voting group are independents….a cowards way out (my feeling only)…….

American Party politics would be a complete farce if the consequences weren’t so grave. Were either of the dominant Parties to achieve 100% consensus on any issue, it would represent the views of about 18%* of eligible voters. And while a diversity of views would represent social vitality in a functioning democracy, in the winner-take-all American system, it represents continued rule by the oligarchs.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/07/electoral-politics-versus-democracy/

Voters need to think back over the life of their voting……Biden is nothing about change…he will be the same as all other Dems in the past 50 years…..long on hot air and short on action and a warm embrace of corporate handlers.

Stop letting the media pick your candidate.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Vote!

Closing Thought–12Jun19

Alabama has joined the list of states that will punish sex offenders they will be forced to undergo chemical castration……

Males convicted of a sex offense against a child under the age of 13 in Alabama will be forced to undergo chemical castration in the month before they’re released from custody. Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday signed into law the bill passed by the state legislature on May 30, which forces offenders to pay out of pocket for chemical castration via oral medication or injection, which interferes with the production of testosterone, unless a court decides an offender is unable to pay, per CNN. The effects—an inability to perform sexual acts and limited sexual interest—are reversed once treatment stops, but it’ll be up to a court to determine when this might happen. Any offenders who stop treatment on their own will be found in violation of parole and returned to custody.

“This bill is a step toward protecting children in Alabama,” Ivey said, per CNN. Randall Marshall of the ALCU of Alabama instead believes the law may be a form of cruel and unusual punishment. “It’s not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it’s even medically proven,” and “when the state starts experimenting on people, I think it runs afoul of the Constitution,” he tells AL.com. The bill’s author, GOP Rep. Steve Hurst, who initially called for surgical castration, counters that many victims of sexual abuse support the law, which follows similar ones on the books in seven states and Guam, per NBC News. GOP Sen. Cam Ward adds it will likely apply only to a small group of offenders as most people convicted in such cases are not considered for parole.

I am sorry but this does not “protect children” as promised by the governor…..in my opinion.

The urges are still there and though he may not have the “junk” to carry out his urges he will find other means of satisfying those urges…..use objects like bottles to “get off”.

I do not have the answers to this problem….but I just do not believe this will not solve the problem no matter the promises.

Just Saying

They Showed Their Ass

Closing Thought–11Jun19

You know how the people you know complain about the Congress and the way they are a do-nothing bunch…..well yesterday the GOP showed exactly why they are the laughing stock of the nation….

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday held the first of a series of hearings to examine the findings of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in order to determine if any further action, including an impeachment inquiry, is needed.

But the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee chose to spend their time during the hearing delivering petulant, conspiratorial rants instead of taking the hearing seriously or asking any questions that might be relevant to the facts of Mueller’s report.

Most of the Republicans’ childish comments were directed at John Dean, who served as White House counsel to former President Richard Nixon. Dean was brought into the hearing to put Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice into historical context, given that Dean pleaded guilty to helping Nixon obstruct justice during the Watergate investigation.

https://shareblue.com/gop-congressmen-humiliate-themselves-ranting-mueller-report-hearing/

They tried to be cute with John Dean and Dean handed them their asses at every turn……

The GOP has proven to the clowns I have always said they were and I appreciate them making me a prophet……and yet as silly as they all were they will be re-elected at most turns….so maybe the clowns and buffoons are the voters after all.

All in all the GOP clowns gave me a good chuckle yesterday….for that I thank them …..especially this d/bag……Hawley of Missouri……

“Talk about living in the past,” he said. “The Democrats want to talk about Watergate? I mean this happened before I was born! This is a total waste of time. It’s a total waste of time.”

Missouri senator says it’s a waste of time to study history because it was a long time ago

This statement shows just how much damage the educational policies of the GOP have done to the schools and learning in this country…..it is all a joke.

This stunt, and it was a stunt, was more pathetic than the Dems with the KFC bucket when Barr decided not to honor a subpoena……games are all these spineless freaks know….it is never about the governing just how they look on CSPAN.

South Of The Border Down Mexico Way

When Trump issued his ultimatum to Mexico I at first was worried because Mexican Avocados are divine…..but after some thought I figured this was just a way to divert the news from Trump’s problems…….

In the beginning was the threat…..

President Trump has vowed to slap new tariffs on all goods from Mexico—and to keep increasing them until the country stops migrants coming to the US. On June 10, the US “will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” the president tweeted Thursday. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied at which time the Tariffs will be removed.” The White House says the tariffs will rise to 10% on July 1, then go up 5% each month after that until they hit 25% on Oct. 1, reports the Washington Post. Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters he was going to make his biggest statement on the border so far.

Trump said in a statement that after October, the tariffs will remain at 25% “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.” The surprise announcement came on the day that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began to ratify the USCMA trade deal with US and Canada, which could now be in jeopardy, reports Reuters. The tariffs could devastate Mexico’s economy, though experts including trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo suspect Trump will backtrack on the move, as he did with his threat to seal the border in March. “This seems more theater and tactics than a strategy to solve the migration crisis and rebalance North American trade,” Ujczo tells the AP.

And then just a day before the tariffs were to take effect…..we have a deal! (Go figure!)

“Indefinitely suspended.” That’s the fate of the tariffs President Trump had warned he’d levy against Mexico, per Trump himself, who tweeted Friday that a deal on immigration had been signed with our neighbors to the south, per Politico. Trump had previously signaled there was a “good chance” a deal was coming to stave off a progressively increasing tariffs hit on Mexico, and he crowed Friday night that had happened. “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” he tweeted. “The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”

How fortuitous….a deal just in the nick of time……appears my first reaction was the correct one after all……this was a game to divert attention…and then he can claim a success for something that was already a success.

Turns out Friday’s big immigration deal between the US and Mexico—or at least most of it—had already been struck over the past few months, officials on both sides tell the New York Times. The new agreement states that Mexico will deploy “its National Guard throughout Mexico” to stop migrants, but Mexico made that promise to Kirstjen Nielsen, former secretary of homeland security, back in March. The agreement also expands a program for asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting US legal confirmation, but that was struck in December and announced by Nielsen five days before Christmas. In the latest negotiations, US officials failed to add that America can reject asylum seekers if they hadn’t first tried refuge in Mexico.

I am glad we have a deal…..even if it was negotiated months ago…..but Trump did not doing anything most other presidents do…..take credit for successes.

My avocado affliction is safe….for now.

Since I am an old fart…..The title of this post made me think of an old Patsy Cline song…..