Category Archives: Uncategorized

CBS News: Face The Nation- George Romney: Addresses 1964 Republican National Convention

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Source:  CBS News

Source: CBS News: Face The Nation- Governor George Romney: Addresses 1964 Republican National Convention

What I get from this short five minute vision of Michigan Governor George Romney speaking at the 1964 Republican National Convention, is that he wasn’t necessarily against Senator Barry Goldwater and his presidential campaign. But he was worried about the Republican Party moving right and even Far-Right.

From 1964-68, the GOP was moving in transition from a center-right moderate conservative party with a solid progressive Northeastern base that Governor Romney was part of, to expanding the base of the party and moving south as well as west. Bringing in Christian-Conservatives from the South and Conservative-Libertarians from the West. Barry Goldwater was one of those Western Conservative-Libertarians.

Governor Romney and Governor Nelson Rockefeller and other Progressive Republicans, were worried that America wasn’t ready for this hardcore what was called back then conservative message,  but what today would be a conservative-libertarian message as far as Goldwater that was about individual freedom both economic and personal, as well as limited government and personal responsibility, as well as federalist when it came to government. And as a result the GOP would get wiped out in the 1964 general elections which was exactly what happened. And they were worried that the GOP couldn’t compete with just a small percentage of the electorate.

What Rockefeller and Romney got wrong, was that they were only correct in the short-term. Millions of Southern Democrats who voted for President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, voted for Richard Nixon for President in 1968. Congressional Republicans had a big comeback in 1966 by winning in the South in the House and Senate and winning out west. Richard Nixon was part of the Progressive Republican base in California and New York, but being the great politician that he was, was also able to communicate with Goldwater Conservatives and Christian-Conservatives in the South, while retaining his Northeastern Republican Progressive base, to win the presidency in 1968 and win going way reelection in 1972. But the remaking and renovation of the modern GOP that we see today started in 1964. Romney and Rockefeller, were wrong about the long-term affects that moving right would have on the GOP.

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CBS News: Face The Nation- Flashback: U.S. Senator Frank Cannon- Governor Nelson Rockefeller & Conflicts of Interest- In 1974

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Source: CBS News

Source: CBS News: Face The Nation- U.S. Senator Frank Cannon: Governor Nelson Rockefeller & Conflicts of Interest- In 1974

President Richard Nixon resigns the presidency in August of 1974 because of Watergate and his involvement in covering up that scandal coming to light because of his tapes. The House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach President Nixon that month as well with House Democrats clearly having the votes to impeach President Nixon by the full house. The Senate Republican Leadership led by Minority Leader Hugh Scott, with other GOP Senators like Senator Barry Goldwater, goes to the White House to meet President Nixon and tell him that he’ll be impeached by the House and then convicted in the Senate. There were Senate GOP whip counts back then with only 20 votes or so in the Senate to vote for President Nixon’s acquittal. So this is a little background for why Governor Nelson Rockefeller from New York, was up for appointment by President Gerald Ford to be Vice President in the first place.

After the Congressional elections of 1974 where House Democrats add to the majority and pick up around 40 seats and Senate Democrats add 6 seats to their majority, President Gerald Ford appoints Governor Rockefeller to replace him as Vice President. If you’re familiar with this era or lived though it you know that Gerry Ford was President Nixon’s last Vice President and was appointed to that office in the fall of 1973. But Nelson Rockefeller wasn’t your ordinary Governor. He’s part of the Rockefeller family dynasty and was worth what would probably be in today’s dollars in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He had a lot of business interests and at least potential conflicts of interest. When a new Vice President is needed and appointed before a presidential election, that person has to be confirmed by the entire Congress, not just the Senate. Which means the House gets to vote on the Vice Presidential nominee as well.

So that is what this Face The Nation interview was about in 1974 and while they were interviewing Senator Howard Cannon who was Chairman of the Rules Committee with his committee having jurisdiction over the Vice Presidency and vice presidential appointment. And what the reporters on Face The Nation including a very young, beautiful, and adorable, Connie Chung from CBS News ( I must say ) interviewing Senator Cannon about Governor Rockefeller and his potential conflicts of interest because Rockefeller was such a wealthy man and had money and investments all over the country. They were asking Senator Cannon what he believed his committee would do as far as looking into those potential conflicts.

The Film Archives: Joe Nocera & Diana Henriques- The Worst Day in Wall Street History: The Stock Market Crash of 1987

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Source: The Film Archives– Actor Michael Douglas 

Source: The Film Archives: Joe Nocera & Diana Henriques- The Worst Day in Wall Street History: The Stock Market Crash of 1987

Similar to what happened with the Stock Market last Friday and this Monday, is that we had a major downturn of the market or in 1987’s case a crash when the basic fundamentals of the economy were strong. Not counting the high budget deficit and national debt. But with solid economic and job growth, low unemployment, and even seeing wages ramong middle class Americans going up. Before the 1929 Wall Street crash the economy was fairly strong as well and then the crash happened and shortly after that we’re not only in a recession but the Greatest Depression and the economy hasn’t been worst since even with the Great Recession.

I believe as an non-economist that 1987 is where we see the negative consequences of what’s called Reaganomics. The theory being that you can cut taxes deeply and increase government spending dramatically and that somehow the new economic growth will pay for those new priorities. But the opposite actually happened. When President Ronald Reagan comes to office in 1981 he inherited a budget deficit of about 40 billion dollars, which even in the early 1980s was a fairly small deficit. By the time President Reagan leaves office in 1989, we had a budget deficit of around 2 hundred-billion-dollars, which in the late 1980s was a large budget deficit. Today that would be over 400 billion dollars. The economy bounces back in 1988, but struggles in 1989 and we’re in a recession by 1990 that lasted about two years and costing President George H.W. Bush reelection.

If you look at recession of 1990-91, you had high interest rates, combined with inflation, with the high budget deficit contributing to the high interest rates. Because you had the Federal Government competing with the private sector to borrow money just to pay for it’s government operations. America is now due for another recession simply because we’ve been growing as an economy coming up on nine straight years now and have growing since the Great Recession broke in the summer of 2009. The longest economic expansion at least in modern history. Rarely do you see a decade pass in America without at least one recession even if that recession is mild.

Assuming the Trump Administration continues to borrow money in huge chunks, if inflation and interest rates were come onto the scene again especially with the Federal Reserve feeling the need to raise interest rates to combat inflation because of higher consumer spending because of wages being increased, we may be in another situation like we were in the early 1990s. A recession to go with high budget deficits and a national debt. That will have to be addressed with major coming for people to prevent the economy from getting even worst.

 

 

C-SPAN: Q&A With Brian Lamb- A. Scott Berg: Woodrow Wilson

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Source: C-SPAN

Source: C-SPAN: Q&A With Brian Lamb- A. Scott Berg: Woodrow Wilson

I agree with Scott Berg as far as how consequential President Woodrow Wilson was. “We must create a world safe for democracy”, is the most famous and important quote of the Wilson Presidency. That is the foreign policy in one way or another that America has used and been a part of since his presidency, except for again perhaps Donald Trump who is more of a Nationalist and not so much interested in working with our allies when it comes to foreign policy. And when America does act in foreign affairs and national security, President Trump and his Administration tends to do it alone.

Almost every President since Woodrow Wilson has had their own version of this liberal internationalist policy that is about promoting, protecting, and defending, democracy around the world.

President Franklin Roosevelt and then later President Harry Truman, were our strongest liberal internationalist hawks. World War II being the perfect example of that where America conquered Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and knocked out those authoritarian regimes that were replaced with democratic government’s and democratic constitution’s.

President Dwight Eisenhower was perhaps our most cautious liberal internationalist President and believed in limited usage of our military power. And understood the importance of having a strong military like our other President’s, but understood perhaps the limits of American power and that we couldn’t do everything ourselves as a military power. Probably the most anti-Neoconservative President that we’ve had.

John F. Kennedy perhaps being the strongest anti-Communist President that we’ve had and strongest cold warrior that we’ve had as President as a liberal internationalist.

President Lyndon Johnson tried to literally wipeout communism in all of Vietnam and using almost exclusively American power to do that.

President Richard Nixon was  a strong anti-Communist himself but was the great negotiator and believed the best way to defeat communism and authoritarianism in general, was to open authoritarian regimes up to Western culture and freedom.

President Jimmy Carter was a strong liberal internationalist and anti-Communist himself as President, as well as a World War II Naval veteran, believed that communism wasn’t the only threat to freedom and human rights. And gave his best speech as President in 1977 about the importance and need for human rights and freedom and that communism wasn’t the only opponent of those things.

President Ronald Reagan, believed that America should no longer try to live with the Cold War, but win it by ending it. President Reagan, obviously didn’t win the Cold War and defeat the Soviet Union by himself with all the President’s I just mentioned going back to Harry Truman, all having a major role there. But President Reagan hated communism so much and the system that Russia had that it had to be defeated and eliminated and replaced with a more responsible governmental system.

President George H.W. Bush, saw a world post-Cold War where America would be able to trade and work with all of our new European allies and even ben able to work with Russia to keep the peace in Europe and protect democracy there, but also protect and defend democracy in other parts of the world. Like in Asia and Africa. The 1991 Gulf War wasn’t America against Iraq, but America, Europe, and even Arabian countries, against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

It took President Bill Clinton at least two years to develop his own foreign policy as President, but the Balkans in Southern Europe and the wars going on there is where you finally see the Bill Clinton Doctrine as President. That America wouldn’t stand by and watch authoritarian regimes try to wipeout ethnic groups and ethnic minorities in their own countries. And because of this foreign policy the Communist ethno-Seriban State of Yugoslavia, is no longer in existence. And we now see democratic peaceful countries in the Balkans. And President Clinton worked with Europe and this was a American/European campaign against Yugoslavia. First during the Bosnian/Serbian conflict in Yugoslavia and then later in Albanian Kosovo.

President George W. Bush is where you see a break from America’s liberal internationalist foreign policy doctrine. He was a Neoconservative as President with the 9/11 attacks being the ignitor to this new right-wing authoritarian unilateral foreign and national security policy. The 2003 Iraq War as basically America and Britain, against Iraq because America didn’t like Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Saddam was brutal to his people as President of Iraq, but never before had we eliminated another dictatorial regime simply because we didn’t like them.

President Barack Obama, gets I believe most of his best marks as President in foreign affairs especially in his first term. You can say what you want about Libya today but America and Europe working together, with both France and Italy, having major roles there, stepped in to that civil war and crude the Quadafi Regime in Libya. Not just because we didn’t like the regime there but because the Libyan Military was about to crush 100,000 people in Benghazi and we not stepped in the Libyan Military would have massacred 100,000 of their own people simply to protect the Quadafi Regime.

Woodrow Wilson was obviously a flawed President and was a racist as President who believed that European-Americans were superior to African-Americans, simply because of their race. And was a s supporter of the Jim Crow segregationist laws of the South and these are horrible aspects of the Woodrow Wilson Administration. But you’ll have a real hard time finding a President who had more of  an impact on America as they relate both to our economy with the Federal Reserve, the progressive income tax, and and support for workers rights, as well as foreign policy and national security, than President Woodrow Wilson. I don’t believe we become the world superpower without President Wilson, at least not as soon as we did without him. And he deserves a lot of credit for these policies.

 

The Film Archives: Nicholas Patler- Jim Crow and The Wilson Administration: A Tragic Enduring Legacy

Source: The Film Archives: Nicholas Patler- Jim Crow and The Wilson Administration: A Tragic, Enduring Legacy

Woodrow Wilson is a mix bag to me, because he is the father of American liberal internationalism. This idea that America should always be strong and fight authoritarianism around the world ( even if we promote it at home ) and work with our allies around the world to defend liberal democracy and fight against authoritarianism. Whether its communism, or religious theocracy, monarchy, nationalism, whatever the authoritarian philosophy might be. Which has been the governing foreign policy inside the Democratic Party going all the way though the Barack Obama Administration. George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign might be the only exception to this. So on this score I give President Woodrow Wilson very high marks.

President Woodrow Wilson was also an economic Progressive. He believed in things like a public safety net things like Unemployment Insurance for people who are unemployed. That every America ( at least European-Americans ) should have an opportunity to succeed in America. He believed in a regulatory state not to run private industry, but to protect employees and consumers from predators in the economy. Perhaps not as progressive as Theodore Roosevelt ( but most American politicians weren’t back then ) but an economic Progressive. Even though he was very regressive when it came to race relations and promoted segregation and separating African-Americans from European-Americans.

But if you want to know why we had segregation and Jim Crow laws in the 1920s and going all the way up to the mid-1960s, look no further than President Woodrow Wilson and his administration of the 19 teens. Where President Wilson even segregated the races in the Federal Government. And not allowing African-Americans to get good Federal jobs simply because of their race. Which gave life to Dixiecrats and Dixiecrat governors in the South, as well as local government’s own there to pass their own segregation laws.

Southern predominately Anglo-Saxon European-Americans, knew they lost the Civil War and that slavery would no longer be tolerated. But there’s that old saying that the Confederates lost the Civil War but won the battles and the reconstruction. Jim Crow laws were Confederates chance at revenge. Acknowledging that slavery was history but that since Africans would no longer be slaves for anyone in America, that instead they would be treated like second-class citizens in America and in some cases not even be treated like American citizens at all. Be treated like criminals, terrorists, and even animals, by Southern racists. And Jim Crow laws and segregation, is obviously a huge part of the negative legacy of President Woodrow Wilson. Just like Watergate is a big part of President Richard Nixon’s negative legacy.

 

 

The Film Archives: Mississippi Freedom Riders- Civil Rights Movement

Source: The Film Archives: Mississippi Freedom Riders- Civil Rights Movement

The Mississippi Freedom Riders, were young adults and civil rights activists and even volunteers, who had the gaul to march and ride for freedom and equal rights for African-Americans in 1961 and then several times after that in the 1960s. To challenge non-enforcement of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions Morgan v Virginia and Boynton V. Virginia. Which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional. States like Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and others in the South, were not enforcing these Supreme Court decisions. Even though under law they were supposed to.

Keep in mind Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement, was already up and running by 1961, but it didn’t have the backing of the media and especially not Congress, or the Eisenhower Administration, or even the Kennedy Administration, by 1961, at least not officially. They were working what’s called backchannels and staying in touch with each other and the U.S. Administration working with Dr. King and his organization behind the scenes. But even if President Kennedy was privately in favor of civil and equal rights for all Americans in 1961, he certainly wasn’t making that position public yet. It’s not until 1963 after big bombing in Alabama where President John Kennedy comes out strongly in favor of civil rights laws in a prime time speech that the networks broadcast.

The civil rights marchers and even the Freedom Riders, were considered radical especially in the early 1960s especially pre-civil rights laws of the mid 1960s. Imagine that, radicals because they not only believed in individual freedom, but then would march for that, but take that even a step forward and march for civil rights and equal rights for all Americans. But that what life was like in the early 1960s which didn’t look much different culturally and politically as 1955. Where racial and ethnic minorities in America, were seen as second-class citizens. Even though under the U.S. Constitution they were entitled to the same rights, freedom, and responsibility as European-Americans and even European-American men and even Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Saxon men.

 

Inside Edition: Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.- ‘I Have a Dream’

Source: Inside Edition: Reverend Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. – ‘I Have a Dream’

One of the things I love about Dr. Martin L. King’s speeches is that there is never any need for a commentator or narrator for his speeches. He was so clear with how he spoke and always right to the point. There was no (pardon the word) bullshit with Dr. King. You always knew where he stood and what he believed. So in that sense it’s probably a good thing for him and bad for everyone else in America who wasn’t a bigot that Martin King never got involved in American politics as a politician. Because he would always say what he believed because he was honest to his core. And would have driven his political staff crazy! People who are professional pols who believe their bosses can’t afford politically to be always be honest, if ever.

Having said all of that and to get to Dr. King’s speech. I believe it’s the greatest speech in American history at least ever given by a non-political and non-governmental official. He laid out in one speech what America should always be about and since the civil rights movement I believe America has been about what we should be about which is this beautiful idea of America being that place on a shining hill for the rest of the world to see and to admire. (To paraphrase Ronald Reagan)

Where all Americans regardless of complexion, regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of gender, regardless of religion, regardless of who we were born to and the economic backgrounds of our parents, that all Americans can make it in America if they just do the work and make themselves the best and most productive people that they can be. Get a good education and put their skills to work.

A big reason why I’m a Liberal is because of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech. He wanted an America where his children would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. I want an America where everyone’s children and where every American is judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin or any other physical attribute that they were born with that comes from being a member of a certain race, ethnicity, or gender.

Which should always be what America should be about which is why we should always object to identity politics when it comes from the Far-Left or from the Far-Right. Or from whatever ethnic or racial group in America. And instead just look at Americans as people and judge them by what they do and what they think. Not by how they were born.