Bush 41, a Constructive Conservative Presidential Legacy now Sadly Missing in Modern-Day Politics…The civil discourse, bipartisanship, working for the common good, articulating new ideas & reasoned ideologies/policy positions, & so many other positive aspects we need in our conservatism have gone missing from the GOP in this new century.  Bush 41 defined these higher ideals, which our nation badly needs a return to those greater principles based on respect, integrity & values.  This week as we honor the memory of Bush 41, at the bottom we have commentary & articles about him, along with a sentimental song dedicated to George & Barbara.

The nationalistic & isolationist world agenda promoted by our current president will make the world a far more dangerous place.  I’m sorry, it just will.  We should all be sorry.  When America abandons its leadership authority to defend free democracies & human rights, the void can be filled by bad actors.  As President, Bush 41 referred to the new world order while driving Saddam out of Kuwait.  He defended freedom & the international rule of law, while rallying all free nations to get behind us.  This new Trump era dog-eat-dog approach, with every nation out for themselves in a world full of autocratic dictators, terrorist organizations & nukes, can only end badly.  So we need to do an about-face & reassert our leadership role, since it’s critical we use our superpower status to pursue the greater good for our nation & the world, explained here in a long post taken from liberal-world-order-new-international-yanis-varoufakis-david-adler:

Nationalist International is under construction. From Viktor Orbán in the north to Jair Bolsonaro in the south, Rodrigo Duterte in the east to Donald Trump in the west, a coalition of nationalist strongmen are cracking down on civil rights, scapegoating minorities and facilitating widespread corruption for their family and friends. There is growing recognition that – to fight these forces of division – we must forge our own Progressive International movement. In the United States, Bernie Sanders has called to “unite people all over the world” to counter authoritarianism. In the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn has promised to draw on “the best internationalist traditions of the labour movement”. If Benjamin Netanyahu’s attendance at Bolsonaro’s inauguration suggests strong ties between nationalist leaders, Corbyn’s attendance at Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s inauguration suggests growing solidarity between leftwing ones, as well. But while thinking global, the new internationalists continue to act local. Of course, they debate questions of foreign policy, attend international forums, and march against military intervention. But when it comes to supporting causes abroad, their actions are largely symbolic: tweets and petitions that purport to “stand in solidarity” with imperiled communities. Ignored, untouched or otherwise dismissed is a vast infrastructure of international institutions. These institutions have tremendous power – all too frequently abused by the officials at their helm – to transform the world. Yet they remain beyond the scope of most progressive politics. Some of the most powerful tools, in other words, remain outside the internationalist toolbox.

Similarly with the other Bretton Woods-era institution, the World Bank. Instead of acting, in accordance with its original remit, as the engine of development in the interests of those lacking access to investment funding, the World Bank worked closely with the IMF to implement the infamous Washington Consensus, spreading the gospel of liberalized financial markets, privatized natural resources and trade agreements that prioritized free movement of capital and goods – though never, of course, of people. Then, there is the International Labor Organization. Established in the aftermath of the first world war, the ILO brought 44 nations together in a shared commitment to improving working conditions around the world – a radical vision of internationalism and the first of its kind. “Poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere,” the ILO’s constitution proclaims, “and must be addressed through both national and international action.” Nevertheless, a century later, at a time when labor is exposed to motivated precariousness and wholesale Uberisation, the ILO is at once more needed and more absent than ever. Having traded its early radicalism for dry technical assessments and pointless compliance checks, the ILO has lost its political salience and, indeed, all but disappeared from the political vocabulary.

In short, between the 1970s and the 1990s, these international institutions faithfully delivered the Davos world order, serving the interests of the financial elite against those of the countries they were designed to represent. Today – after a decade lost to financial crisis – that Davos world order is cracking under the weight of global discontent. But tragically, it has been the xenophobic right that has gained most from this windfall of righteous indignation, just as it did in the 1930s. The representatives of the emergent Nationalist International are explicit about what they propose to do with our international institutions: gut them. Theirs is a vision of unilateral power unchecked by international institutions. “If I were redoing the security council,” the US national security adviser, John Bolton, has said, “I’d have one permanent member: the United States.” This demolition plan has polarized progressives between two camps. Some, reflecting on the brutality of the Washington Consensus, cheer on the challenge to international institutions, wishing them to crumble. Others, fearing the collapse of the “liberal” international order, leap uncritically to their defense. Both are wrong. To achieve progressive goals on a global scale, from worker rights to climate justice, we must reclaim the international institutions and deploy them to deliver an International Green New Deal.

Many people sympathize with the aims of internationalism, but doubt their feasibility: the institutions, they say, are beyond the reach of everyday people. But such a view is fatalistic at best, and reckless at worst. Just a few years ago, many progressives thought that political parties like UK Labour and the US Democrats were incapable of redemption. But new grassroots movements are now fighting to take back control of these parties at local, state and national levels. If our political representatives once came together to design international institutions, there is no reason to think that they cannot redesign them now. Of course, internationalists should go beyond the scope of existing institutions to imagine new ones. Our present crisis – just like that of 1919 or 1944 – is an opportunity to develop new and better infrastructure for achieving internationalist aims: a Tax Justice Authority, for example, that is empowered to eliminate tax evasion. But we might begin with the modest agenda outlined here because of its pragmatism. International institutions will continue to function for the foreseeable future. The only remaining question is how, and for whom. Internationalists must realize the power of these institutions to transform the world for the better, and reclaim them as our own. The alternatives – the technocratic status quo and the strongman unilateralism that has emerged to challenge it – are simply unacceptable.

Are We Winning Yet?

Yes Jennifer, Trump isn’t winning at anything: trumps-not-winning-anything-anywhere.  Struggling blue collar workers had so much hope their good-paying factory jobs were coming back based on Trump’s bluster.  We’d better start winning soon, or Trump is starting to blow his cover with his supporters, seen in excerpts from observer-view-on-donald-trump-growing-list-of-failures.  One by one these workers are coming around to realize they’d been snookered:

Trump’s domineering, chief executive style, inimical to open discussion and hostile to challenge, sits uneasily within a democratic system where any president must be answerable to voters, their elected representatives and the media. It also means he must always be right. Many Americans, not least his fabled “base” of predominantly white, working-class and rural voters, seem ready to accept Trump is not always truthful. But they will not accept failure – and Trump’s list of failures is lengthening. A key Trump promise in the 2016 election was to make America’s factories great again. “My plan includes a pledge to restore manufacturing in the United States,” he declared. That optimistic prospectus tipped the balance in critical midwest states such as Ohio and Michigan. Last week’s announcement by General Motors, a major US company, that it was cutting 14,000 jobs, thus injected a stringent dose of economic reality into Trump’s make-believe world. 

GM’s decision was attributed to several factors: vehicle production is cheaper in Mexico and the far east, the advent of electric and, prospectively, driverless cars is revolutionising the global market, and ride-sharing apps are depressing sales. The harsh truth was clear, at it has been for many years. The days of relatively highly paid, secure, unionised jobs-for-life in the US car industry, and manufacturing in general, are gone forever – and Trump should never have pretended otherwise. Predictably, Trump refused to accept he was in the wrong, instead blaming GM’s management. But the figures speak for themselves. Factory employment in the US fell to 11.5m jobs after the 2008 crash. Since then, only 1.3m have been added, less than a third during Trump’s presidency. What goes for cars goes for coal and steel, too. Trump’s vow to lead a national industrial revival was a gross deceit. Increasingly, his electoral base is paying the price of his vain pledges.

Trump had No Clue from the Get-Go

It was worse than broken promises.  Trump sold false promises to a desperate working class, lying as he always does & literally using them to advance his personal interests.  Yep, his grandiose boasts (along with the Russians) got him elected.  Another article about this is seen in excerpts from general-motors-cuts-are-proof-of-trumps-working-class-double-cross:

President Trump’s ironclad campaign promise that auto layoffs would cease has evaporated into hot air. At his Rust Belt rallies Trump insisted that if he won the election the auto industry would fear him so much that it would not only end its layoffs of American workers but bring back the factories it had built overseas. Late last month, General Motors  announced it would slash its salaried workers by 15 percent and terminate one in four of its executives. The “reset” will be felt well beyond the company’s plants targeted for layoffs in Lordstown, Ohio; Warren, Michigan; White Marsh, Maryland; and Detroit, as well as across the Canadian border in Oshawa, Ontario. Earlier this year, the ink was barely dry on Trump and the GOP’s obscene $1.5 trillion corporate tax cut when Wisconsin-based motorcycle maker Harley Davidson took its tax windfall and announced the layoff of 350 workers here in the U.S. At the same time the company raised its dividend, executed a stock buyback scheme, and went ahead with plans to build a plant in Thailand. 

 

In 2016, Trump insisted that blue-collar Americans would no longer be the victim of this kind of unpatriotic self-dealing global capitalism. The common people had their champion. Back on Oct 31, 2016, at the Deltaplex Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, candidate Trump electrified the massive crowd with his promise to slap a 35 percent tax on any American multinational that moved manufacturing out of the U.S. and then tried to bring its products produced offshore back into the country.“And, just the fact that we will do that, would do that, they’ll never move,” he said to a roaring crowd. “They are going to stay in Michigan. Nobody ever told them that.” This pitch caught fire in cities, towns and villages desperate for economic opportunity that had been devastated by the free-trader policies of Presidents Clinton and Bush. These were the 70 counties that went for Obama twice, but where his “hope” grew moldy and his recovery never took root and still hasn’t.

 

Two years later, after all of Trump’s 2016 chest-beating, millions are still idle and the worsening opioid epidemic continues to take a deadly toll in communities where there’s nothing better to do than feed your addiction. The ice caps continue to melt and the sea level rises. Even as the global dashboard blinks hazards ahead, dealing with it remains like dieting, something we’ll get around to eventually. The student debt ticker just keeps ticking ever upward as the smog from the California wildfires drifts eastward. The world’s still a geopolitical mess as U.S. post-9/11 robo-military spending approaches $6 trillion and the civilian body count keeps mounting, as Trump pushes to spend even more. His strategic vision is myopically focused on the next news cycle.

 

In December 2018 Trump, the once fiery populist avenger, has shrunk in stature. He’s now a self-obsessed narcissist, unable to stay focused long enough to keep his “no-collusion” story straight, never mind capable of compelling American multinationals to put American workers ahead of their global pursuit of ever greater profits. What Trump and his hires have been doing since he took the oath of office is everything they can to destroy the American labor movement. He has tried to use executive orders to force unions out of the federal workplace, frozen federal workers’ pay, tried to roll back Obama-era wage and hour protections, gutted worker safety and environmental regulations, and advanced a “right-to-work” agenda that makes it as hard as possible for workers to organize in their own self-interest. Based on the midterm results it may be that a growing number of workers now have Donald Trump’s number. Let’s hope their vision is even clearer for 2020.

 

Happy Birthday

As legislation is about to hit its 1st birthday, we hardly knew ya, but it’s gonna leave trillion dollar deficits in its wake.  I’m referring to the tax bill, & we should have long figured out by now supply-side trickle down no longer works: republican-tax-cut-bill-economic-stimulus.  And the future looks even more dire for workers based on technology/automation: leveling-up-and-down, unless we can figure out entirely new occupations that can help make the displaced working class productive again.  For those of us who don’t want to slide into socialism, we may only have a short window to fix capitalism so the gains are much more broad based.  Check out the first part & ending to this article pulled from general-motors-trump-jobs-shareholders:

Trump’s “America first” economic nationalism is finally crashing into the reality of America’s shareholder-first global capitalism. Last week GM announced it would cut about 14,000 jobs in the politically vital swing states of Michigan and Ohio. This doesn’t quite square with the giant $1.5tn tax cut Trump and the Republicans in Congress enacted last December. Its official rationale was to help big corporations make more investments in America and thereby create more jobs. Trump then told Ohio residents “don’t sell your homes”, because lost auto-making jobs “are all coming back”. GM got a nice windfall from the tax cut. The company has already saved more than $150m this year, according to GM’s latest financial report. But many of those Ohio residents probably should have sold their homes. But neither last year’s tax cut nor the 2009 bailout required GM to create or preserve jobs in America. Both government handouts assumed that, as the former GM CEO Charles Erwin “Engine” Wilson put it when he was nominated secretary of defense by Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, what was good for GM was good for America. Yet much has changed since 1953. Then, GM was the largest employer in America and had only a few operations around the rest of the world. Now Walmart is the largest employer in America, and GM is a global corporation that makes and sells just about everywhere. Moreover, in the 1950s, a third of America’s workforce was unionized, and GM was as accountable to the United Auto Workers as it was to GM’s shareholders. That’s why, in the 1950s, GM’s typical worker received $35 an hour (in today’s dollars). Today, GM’s typical American worker earns a fraction of that. The bargaining clout of the United Auto Workers has been weakened not only by automation, but also by the ease by which GM can get cheaper labor abroad.

“Making America great again” has nothing to do with making American corporations great again. Big American-based corporations are doing wonderfully well, as are their shareholders. The real challenge is to make American workers great again. They don’t need just any jobs. They need good jobs, akin to those that GM’s unionized workers had a half-century ago. Most Americans haven’t had a raise in decades, considering inflation. The difference between China and America is that big Chinese companies are either state-owned or dependent on capital from government-run financial institutions. This means they exist to advance China’s national interests, including more and better jobs for the Chinese people. American corporations exist to advance the interests of their shareholders, who aren’t prepared to sacrifice profits for more and better jobs for Americans. Even if it were aimed at the right things, Trump’s “America first” economic nationalism wouldn’t stand a chance in the land of shareholder-first global capitalism. If he were serious about his aims – a highly dubious condition – he’d do better trying to reduce the chokehold of Wall Street investors on American corporations while strengthening the hand of American labor unions.

Guess which Forces have Infiltrated every aspect of Our Society & are Calling the Shots

This is not the way a truly free market capitalist system is supposed to function, where every mega-wealthy oligarch has thousands if not millions of people subservient to them.  A truly healthy economy would not be defined by massive wage/wealth inequalities, where opportunity, shared wealth & upward mobility are but a lost dream for so many.  And a well-functioning competitive marketplace with opportunity for all would encourage hard-working Americans to forge their own paths for capturing their own version of the American Dream, not being beholden & cowering to some billionaire.  We also clearly see that with our governing leadership, they have crony-capitalist ties & depend on the donations of these corporate oligarchs to sustain their political careers.  And the free press, that great guarantor & protector of our democracy, well, here’s an interesting perspective where they too are beholden to/dependent upon big corporate interests, as seen in excerpts from understanding-the-psyche-of-todays-american-oligarchy-through-magazine-ads:

Last night as I paged through the new issue of the New Yorker, dated 26 November, I felt like I was reading a dispatch from the one-percenters who run the American economy, take far more than their fair share of American income, and lately have ruined American politics. Let me state first that I love the magazine. I have been reading it for more than 55 years, since I learned to read partly by looking at its cartoons with my grandmother in her garden. Today I consider its reporting one of the four essential things to read to understand the state of the nation, the other three being The Atlantic, the New York Times and the Washington Post. But as I paged through the magazine I saw something else. Every few pages there was a contradiction, a message from another America. Those were the advertisements. Reading them is like receiving dispatches from the oligarchy. They are prettied up, to be sure – they are not the oligarchy as it is, but as it would like to see itself. But they describe the state of our culture all too well. Future historians may do well to pay more attention to them than to the news columns of the magazine. It’s not just the New Yorker that has such advertisements, of course. The New York Times magazine has even more aimed at the wealthy, especially multi-million dollar apartments. But I don’t find any reason to read it. The Atlantic’s advertisements are far more representative – the issue that arrived just today has offerings about cars, liquor, watches, even a mattress company and a college seeking to raise its profile.

By contrast, the New Yorker’s advertisements seem to me to be a journey into the psyche of today’s American oligarchy. Take this 26 November issue. The cover is a Roz Chast cartoon about Thanksgiving, warm, clever and bittersweet as she always is. But flip the page and on the obverse side is the first transmission from the oligarchy, an advertisement for a champagne that, we are told, is “chosen by the best.” This resonates with a theme members of the oligarchy love, which is that they are the best people. That is, they think they are loaded with money because they earned it, not because they are lucky or because they work in the corporate finance sector at a time when the illness of the American political system has enabled that sector to socialize its risks (think of the 2008 bailouts) while keeping its profits to itself. That’s why they also need “the best books” (on page 6) and “the world’s best non-iron, high-performance dress shirt”, as seen on page 20. Back to the front. One page after the champagne ad, we see a photograph of a smiling older white man, with the caption, “He loves helping kids. So he gives.” He calls on the reader to “give something back to the world.” My blood pressure rises when I see ads like this, because it goes to the larger problem of charity in America nowadays. If the system worked as it should, and if rich people paid their fair share of taxes, then the rest of us wouldn’t need to beg them to peel off a piece of their income and toss it back to the people.

I think about this every time I am in New York City and see the names of rich people and their businesses on public places. Yes, I am glad to see a park or skating rink open and running. But it saddens me to see it is done by one-percenters turning back a tiny percentage of their gains to the public. The next full page ad is a wordless statement from Gucci. It is just a photograph of a couple of people looking bored. I don’t know if they are celebrities or if I should recognize them. But then this ad isn’t trying to speak to me. By contrast, the next big advertisement is a notice from Fidelity Investments. This is the sole full page ad in the issue that strikes an off-key note. It carries nearly 200 words of copy, and that’ s even before the required small type at the bottom that no one reads. The message is a bit sweaty – are you prepared for a comfortable retirement? In its busy-ness and its tremor of financial anxiety, it feels a bit downscale, especially following that plummy silent page from Gucci. It even mentions, if you look closely, old age income from Social Security. Awkward. But the full page ad that set me off on this tear came on page 10, when a relatively young man – his bearded thirty-ish face illuminated as he stares off to the side – is shown behind the capitalized headline “GREATER IS ELEVATING THE FAMILY NAME INTO AN ICON.” The text below, from a trust company, explains that, OK, you have your “business ownership and personal wealth”, but now you have to move up to the next step, “build something that lasts”. Not only is being comfortable no longer the goal, being wealthy is no longer enough. Even oligarchs have to keep running.

I could go on. There’s an advertisement from “America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies” (p. 23) designed to remind us that they fight diseases, but it simply reminds me that Americans pay outrageous amounts for prescription drugs, and that my own health care provider, Aetna, last year raked in a net profit of $1.9bn. The issue’s first two-page ad is for the “Mastercard Black Card”, offered in funereal colors, with no explanation of its benefits, except that it is a “luxury card”. I guess if you have to ask what the benefits are, you can’t afford it. The magazine ends with another one-two punch: On the back is a Gucci-like notice from Hermès. On the inside of the back cover is an advertisement from Wells Fargo, the bank most notable for a recent scandal in which its employees created two million fake bank accounts for clients without their consent. But the ad, of course, isn’t about that. Rather, it tells you that the bank can “help you build the future”. Because, I guess, the oligarchy already has taken care of the present.

Squeezed in the Middle

Over the many decades as Dems have promoted the welfare state with big government programs, while the GOP has sold out to the wealthy & large corporate interests, it’s mostly the middle class who’ve had no voice & have gotten squeezed.  As part of the solution, we must do a better job of innovating & training, which is reflected in this posting from the-economy-is-thriving-but-workers-are-not-yet:

Yet despite the thriving economy, there are storm clouds on the economic horizon. Wage growth has stalled, while the gap between wealthy Americans and the lower and middle classes continues to widen. Jobs have been touted as the solution to these problems, but merely creating enough jobs is not a sufficient remedy. Instead, our country is facing critical issues related to workforce development. Rapid technological changes have created seismic shifts in the nature of work, resulting in a shortage of skilled labor. If we hope to remain at the leading edge of industrial advancement, we must get over this critical hurdle. Universities are at the epicenter of our nation’s workforce development efforts. With renewed focus on advanced manufacturing and other technical capabilities, innovation and research are converging at campuses across the country to not only address today’s workforce gap, but to build skills for jobs that haven’t yet been created.

But while universities are home to the brightest minds and groundbreaking research, the perception has persisted that higher education has fallen out of touch with the needs of industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Therefore, it is more critical than ever for industry partners to collaborate with universities to develop tailored curricula and training to meet their needs. This convergence of industry innovation and access to top academic talent means well-paying jobs for students and a trained and available workforce for companies. Skilled labor should not be a roadblock to economic growth. In fact, our ability to cultivate, attract and retain talent can be an economic driver. It is as attractive a calling card to businesses as tax incentives and robust infrastructure. By developing and building on partnership successes through initiatives, we can maintain our economic strength and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow by training students and current employees today.

Minimum Wage Debate

In many areas of the country, a federal minimum wage raised to $15 would be too much too soon, being a shock to the system, which could particularly have a negative impact on small businesses.  But those initiatives targeted at the city & state levels, plus our economy hitting at or near full employment, look to have helped lift wages at the bottom rung of the income scale: fight-for-15-movement-boon-for-low-wage-workers.  It’s those with incomes around the middle of the middle class whose incomes are still generally stagnant.  Overall, minimum wage is a relatively simple but limited aspect to the overall approach our nation needs to pursue in creating millions more productive, better paying jobs, with a quality workforce trained with the proper skills for those new careers.

Let’s Do the Penny Plan!

The lady who writes this next article is a total nutcase, long being an extremist blabbermouth for the most radicalized factions of the tea party.  But I am intrigued by this penny plan idea.  When we have budget deficits growing out of control & a polarized Congress where neither party wants to make budget cutting a primary initiative, cutting the budget 1% across the board spreads the belt-tightening around evenly with individual departments not taking the brunt of it, & politicians or parties don’t wind up taking the blame.  So call it a shared sacrifice, why not try this?: congress-must-pass-the-penny-plan.  Does anybody have a better idea how to reduce deficits?  And if we do nothing, we’re just digging ourselves deeper into the hole.

Medicaid shouldn’t be a Free Ride

I also support the work requirement for those capable of working, seen inside data-proves-that-medicaid-needs-work-requirements.  Otherwise, we create a permanent dependency mindset where recipients get in the habit of not working while losing or eroding whatever employable skills they may have.

Various Headlines from Today’s News

And remember, for liberals who take issue with some of my opinions, I still have my center-right conservative roots (it’s the GOP that has left me).  It looks like our Christmas present from Trump may be packaged in a government shutdown, with haggling over funding for the wall at the center of it.  Sure, the posturing is ridiculous, but there are valid reasons for securing our borders: us-census-noncitizens-trump.  I wonder if the handshake trade deal in Buenos Aires with the Chinese president will have a similar outcome to the Singapore deal where Trump said North Korea would no longer be a nuclear threat.  Rather than an actual deal, it looks more like kicking the can down the road.  So while I acknowledge the importance of striking a more equitable trade deal with China, there’s yet no sign of a deal or any end to this trade war.  But Trump is the master of the spin to dupe his base, but his self-described “Tariff Man” has rattled markets: trump-proclaims-himself-tariff-man.  There’s also more clear reports the Saudi crown prince was behind the murder of a WaPo journalist, which Trump continues to try whitewashing that murder: jamal-khashoggi-saudi-crown-prince-senators-cia-briefing.

Honoring Our 41st President

The news has been dominated the past few days with the death of President George H.W. Bush, as well it should be.  His legacy is one of being an outstanding president on the international stage.  He expertly presided over the end of the cold war & drove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.  On the domestic front, he was largely squeezed by economic circumstances, costing him the 1992 election despite his enormous popularity a year earlier from successfully presiding over Iraq War I.  Here’s but a small sampling of the headlines about Bush 41 the past few days, which the accolades will continue to pour into the newsfeeds as the media covers his funeral:

http://time.com/5468640/george-hw-bush-military-service-navy/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/12/01/yearning-for-the-kinder-gentler-america-of-george-h-w-bush/?utm_term=.86c4474af4c1

https://www.thedailybeast.com/george-hw-bush-was-a-better-kind-of-republican?ref=home

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/01/george-hw-bush-american-patriot-deep-sense-duty

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-george-hw-bush-thousand-points-of-light_us_5c026ee4e4b04fb211685473

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/01/bush-death-trump-foreign-relations-1037142

Bush famously made this statement during the 1988 RNC convention: Read my lips, no new taxes.  But he went back on those words two years later, appropriately reacting to challenges over growing budget deficits & the prospect of paying for the coming Iraq war, so a bipartisan deal which also included a pledge to cut discretionary spending was passed.  Despite all the flak H.W. got for that, it proved to be a main piece for the budget surpluses by the end of the decade, which his son W. would then quickly undo.  There are times like back in 1990 when a president can do the right thing despite it being deeply unpopular within his own party, & also illustrates a president’s good economic decisions may not pay dividends till many years down the road.

But the squeeze Bush 41 was trapped in during the 1992 campaign was a combination of factors, such as a recession he seemed tone deaf to, those extremist conservatives incensed at his broken no new taxes pledge (see, the GOP even had far-right radicals back then), a popular independent candidate in Ross Perot largely running on a platform of a balanced budget, & a Dem challenger running on it’s the economy stupid & Clinton said he could feel our pain.  So Bush 41 may go down as one of our nation’s greatest one-term presidents.

So that famous pledge by Bush 41 wasn’t so much a lie as it was governing to existing realities, but the far-right never forgave him.  Nowadays we see far-right conservatives embrace a president who lies with impunity, now closing in on 7000 verifiable lies just since becoming president.  So it’s interesting how the far-right back then couldn’t even overlook a broken pledge, while these days seem fine with the multiple lies coming every day from our current president.  That further exposes a GOP party that has now become morally bankrupt, embracing a deviant leader enabled by a corrupt echo & bamboozled base, now largely responsible for the bitter divide where responsible governing has mostly come to a halt.

Those 7000 lies in under two years include claiming he didn’t pay his mistresses hush money & he didn’t help write that letter for the phony excuse on the Trump Tower meeting.  It doesn’t include all the lies & false boasts during the 2016 campaign, such as he’s never had any dealings with Russia.  It also doesn’t include the promise he made here in northeast Ohio last year when he said ALL the manufacturing jobs would come back, & now we’re losing the jobs in our massive GM plant.  So we can say of Bush 41 what we’ll never say of our current president, that he was a true statesman & person of great honor & character, being a man of his word from which we could trust what he said.  He governed in a time of more civility representing a party that at the time still tried to do right by America & its people.

George H.W. Bush was also a war hero. Trump didn’t think McCain was a war hero since he got captured & was a POW.  Bush was never captured but his plane was shot down during WWII, where a submarine rescued him from his raft, so I wonder if Trump considers that heroism.  Bush 41 wasn’t consumed by his own ego, being famously modest, as he embraced both his political allies & opponents as friends, treating everyone with respect.  He had all the personal qualities lacking in our current president.  As was also the case that really stood out during McCain’s funeral, what a stark contrast!  Yes, & conservative presidents the likes of H.W. Bush & Reagan actually governed by being civil & friendly to others.  Imagine that.  And when Trump exclaims what the hell is that about the thousand points of light Bush 41 advocated, it illustrates our current president cannot see beyond himself & his personal interests to see the greater good.

For another contrast, as opposed to that thrice-married president who paid hush money to an untold number of mistresses, one of the most remarkable achievements of Bush 41 was being married for 73 years until Barbara passed away earlier this year.  This song in the link at the bottom is in honor of the Bush’s who were married for those remarkable 73 years (think about all that time together, they can forget before they met even once having a life apart as they’ve become such a part of each other): barbara-george-bush-marriage-secrets-photos & also watch video/the-remarkable-love-story-of-george-and-barbara-bush, & we can have faith they’ve now been reunited: cartoon-reuniting-george-hw-bush-with-wife-barbara-and-daughter.

This beautiful song also goes out to those still on this Earth whose spouse has passed onto a better place & are there waiting for them.  The song is also for any other couples who’ve been married 73 years or any married couples who’ve been together even just a fraction of that time, who all hope for & would want their mate to grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.  If you’re happily married & this song doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you might be a bone-dry cactus.  Get the Kleenex ready:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BvNAM0srUc