Reagan or Carter?

English: James Earl "Jimmy" Carter

English: James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who was the better president, Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter? Most people who lived through their presidencies would say Reagan and I tend to agree. Reagan uplifted the country while Carter did not. Reagan concentrated on the big picture and largely ignored the details while Carter immersed himself in minutiae and lost track of the big picture, in the opinion of some. I think that Barack Obama most resembles Reagan in concentrating on the big picture while uplifting the country. Mike Huckabee and others on the Right are criticizing the President on ignoring some details, but they would criticize him no matter what. Just can’t please some folks.

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What’s in a name?

Barack Obama, Sr.

Barack Obama, Sr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare

Ronald Reagan‘s middle name was Wilson, but no one ever criticized him for it because he was given his names when he was born and did not choose them himself. Some in the GOP strongly dislike President Woodrow Wilson since he was a liberal Democrat.

On the other hand, today President Obama is criticized for his middle name, Hussein. He was given that name by his parents, being named for his father of the same name. President Obama is correctly identified as Barack Hussein Obama II, just as John McCain is correctly identified as John Sidney McCain III and Mitt Romney as Willard Mitt Romney.

The only thing we learn when someone refers to President Obama as Barack Hussein Obama is that the speaker or writer wants to emphasize the President’s difference and is probably calling for unjustified impeachment.

E pluribus unions

President Reagan with William French Smith mak...

President Reagan with William French Smith making a statement to the press regarding the air traffic controllers strike (PATCO) from the Rose Garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unions have been losing members since Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic controllers strike. Now the GOP are going after unions of public employees including teachers. If you are wondering why all the gains in employee productivity have gone to owners and management and not to workers, it is because unions are no longer strong enough to demand a more equitable division of the fruits of increased worker productivity. The GOP response is that gains in productivity result from capital investments, but that is only partly true. There would be no gains in productivity at all without a trained and educated workforce.

Another reason why wages have been stagnant since 1980 is that business have caused laws to be changed reducing regulation and taxes, allowing business to relocate abroad, or to import goods from abroad where those goods are made without American labor, paying substandard wages and making workers live and work in unsafe conditions.

Only by uniting together in unions are workers strong enough to confront today’s giant corporations. Out of many, let there be a few strong unions that sit down at bargaining tables as equals to corporate persons. In today’s economy where the economic pie is growing slowly, a bigger piece for owners and management means a smaller piece for workers.

Petty and small-minded

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

English: Seal of the President of the United States Español: Escudo del Presidente de los Estados Unidos Македонски: Печат на Претседателот на Соединетите Американски Држави. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barack and family are on vacation this week and Chris Hayes and Bill O’Reilly were on vacation last week, so naturally Barack’s time away from the White House was discussed by both men. Continuing the FOX News policy of petty and small-minded 24/7 criticism of everything the President says and does, Bill O’Reilly criticized the expense of the President’s vacation. Putting the trip in context, Chris Hayes listed the days of vacation of Presidents Reagan to Obama. Only Bill Clinton had taken fewer days of vacation at this point in his presidency. Ronald Reagan took a lot more vacation days at his ranch, and GW Bush took roughly 4 times as many days of vacation as President Obama has taken to date. Considering the difference in the quality of information offered, I wonder why anyone watches O’Reilly when they could be watching Chris Hayes at the same hour.

Austerity

austerity

austerity (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Give me that old-fashioned austerity
Give me that old-fashioned austerity
Give me that old-fashioned austerity
It’s good enough for me.
Who gave us the old-fashioned austerity?
Grandpa Herbert Hoover gave austerity to our grandparents
Father Ronald Reagan gave austerity to our parents
GOP leaders are giving austerity to you and me, saying
Give them that old-fashioned austerity
Give them that old-fashioned austerity
Give them that old-fashioned austerity
It’s good enough for them, but not the 1%.