Sunday, February 18, 2018

Yes, He's the Son of That Taft

The official portraits of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were revealed earlier this week. Their uniqueness is what makes me really appreciate them more. The other official portraits are all roughly the same--the difference being President John F. Kennedy's which shows him with arms crossed and head looking down. These are difference mainly because they were painted by African American painters. Kehinde Wiley painted President Obama while Amy Sherald painted Mrs. Obama.

It will be fun to scroll through the other presidential portraits and come to this one and not seeing the man standing or sitting at a desk in an office or in front of a book case or even in front of American or military flags but in a lush green garden that almost makes the man a secondary object in his own portrait. As for Mrs. Obama's portrait, I can't find the words to describe the grace, dignity, and beauty of Mrs. Obama or that dress.

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The Taft-Hartley Act, actually the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, was a bill written by Senator Robert Taft and Rep. Fred Hartley, Jr. It became a law despite President Truman's veto. The law, which is still in effect, was essentially written to strangle the power that unions had. It discouraged strikes, which surged after World War II ended, and prohibited radical leaders from controlling unions. The bill was heavily supported by business lobbyists and was a bipartisan bill which was how Congress was able to override Truman's veto. Efforts to make changes to the law during the Carter and Clinton administrations failed due to Republican opposition and lack of Democratic support.

I'm trying to make the effort of reading more this year. So far I think I'm doing pretty good. Don't think I'll read a book on the Taft-Hartley Act though, not because it sounds boring but because I don't think there's really a book about it. Although the damage it did to worker's right still resonates today.