Two Secretaries Of State Running For Governor And Suppressing Voter Rights–Brian Kemp In Georgia And Kris Kobach In Kansas

A new level of political corruption is now occurring in upcoming state elections for Governor.

In Georgia, Brian Kemp is the Secretary of State since 2010, responsible for keeping track of voter registration. He is the Republican nominee for Governor, and has refused to allow updating of registration, with 70 percent of 53,000 voters not being allowed to vote being African Americans, and with his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, an African American female, protesting that Kemp should resign as Secretary of State, because he is interfering unjustly with the right to vote. Kemp has dismissed such calls for him to give up his government position as Secretary of State, despite the fact that he will be leaving that position at the end of the year, whether he wins or loses the Governorship race, but trying meanwhile to stack the deck against his African American opponent.

In Kansas, Republican nominee for Governor Kris Kobach, has been Secretary of State since 2011, and has removed nearly 20,000 people from voter rolls, and implemented some of the strictest voter ID laws in America. He has been noted nationally for his charges of voter fraud being widespread, and he has purged voter rolls in the same corrupt way that Kemp has in Georgia, and it will affect voting next month, as it will in Georgia. He has been the strongest advocate of nativism toward immigrants, and headed a White House Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity in May 2017, disbanded without a report in January 2018. Kobach has been a lightning rod for many who have accused him of massive corruption, and discriminatory policies toward immigrants, making him the hero of white supremacists and nativists, even more than Brian Kemp.

Both Kemp and Kobach are close friends of Donald Trump, who, of course, has no problem with what they are doing, since it benefits Republicans.

Effectively, both Kemp and Kobach are working to fix the election results by limiting the right to vote, and all this occurring because the Supreme Court in Shelby County V Holder in 2013 allowed weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and gave states the right to set up new voter restrictions.

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.

Candidates For US Senate Who Might Start First Term In Their 70s: Mitt Romney In Utah And Phil Bredesen In Tennessee

A new phenomenon is that newly elected members of the Senate are tending to come into office at advanced ages.

In 2019, we could have two new Senators in their 70s upon taking the oath of office to serve their states in the Senate.

Mitt Romney, the former Republican nominee for President in 2012, is almost certain to win the Senate seat in Utah, and he would be two and half months short of 72 in January 2019.

Phil Bredesen, the former Democratic Governor of Tennessee, if he wins the open Senate seat, would be two months past 75 in January 2019.

They would both surpass two other Senators who were a bit younger–Republican S. I Hayakawa of California who took office in 1977 at age 70; and Angus King, Independent of Maine, who was 68 in 2013 when first came to the Senate, and running again now in 2018 at age 74.

What Is Needed In November: Blue Wave (Democrats), Pink Wave (Women), Orange Wave (Men And Gun Safety), Green Wave (Environment)

With the midterm elections less than four weeks away, it is clear that what is needed is not one “wave”, but four “waves”.

A “Blue Wave” is needed, the gaining of, hopefully, control of both houses of Congress, and the majority of state governorships and state legislative majorities.

But a “Pink Wave’ is needed by a mass uprising by women of all backgrounds, races, sections of the nation, to make clear that misogyny and abuse of women by conservatives and Republicans will no longer be tolerated.

There is also a need for an “Orange Wave”, promoted by Fred Guttenberg, the father of Parkland victim Jaime Guttenberg, on the need for a serious movement toward gun control and regulation, as we are losing tens of thousands of victims, many of them in schools and universities, and also many through suicide. This must include serious promotion of mental health initiatives, so that we do not have the constant massacres of innocent human beings, because of the lack of concern by the gun industry, which is only interested in profits.

And finally, a “Green Wave” is needed by those who care about climate change and the environment, determined to fight to prevent the destruction of the environment by coal companies, oil companies, natural gas companies, and corporations in general, who all think only of the profit motive now, and not the long range effect of what their companies are doing. And the struggle against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior leadership must be fought with vehemence, as the future of America and the entire globe are at stake.

Unwise For Republicans To Denounce Lisa Murkowski, And Democrats To Denounce Joe Manchin: They Could Switch Parties After Midterm Elections

Now that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has been accomplished, by the smallest margin since 1881, there is discussion in both political parties about retribution to be paid for the one Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and the one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who broke ranks in their parties and voted against the party line.

This is very unwise, and could reverberate after the midterm elections are completed.

What if the US Senate ends up with a 50-50 split, which would give Vice President Mike Pence the ability to organize the Senate for the Republicans?

If Lisa Murkowski is angry in November, she could decide to switch parties, becoming a Democrat, as long as the party promised, with her 16 years of Senate experience, to give her a committee chairmanship. That would make the Senate 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, backfiring on the Republicans.

Or what if the Senate became 51-49 Democratic, and Joe Manchin decided to switch to the Republican Party, making a 50-50 tie, giving Mike Pence the ability to organize the Senate for the Republicans?

What it comes down to is that no political party should punish its members because they are not always in lockstep with their party.

There is no reason why all Democrats have to be to the left of center, and all Republicans have to be to the right of center.

In the past, there were a lot of people who “crossed the aisle” on a regular basis, and accomplished great goals, as for instance Lyndon B. Johnson gaining support of many Republicans for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 due to his ability to work with Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen.

Another instance was a deal on Social Security reform in 1983 between Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill.

The only way to move ahead is to overcome the confrontational, no holds barred rhetoric, that now has made Congress such an inept institution, and promote willingness of both parties to negotiate and compromise for the good of the nation and its future.

The Next Speaker Of The House IF GOP Keeps Majority: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Or Jim Jordan

If the Republican Party, somehow, holds on to majority control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, they will need to select a new Speaker of the House, as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

At this point, there are three key contenders for the Speakership in the Republican Party:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana

House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan of Ohio

All three, honestly, make outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan look better by comparison, and yet, my readers know how much I dislike, and have denounced Paul Ryan, including when he was the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, for which I was viciously attacked on several right wing websites at the time.

But seriously, Kevin McCarthy is practically the “lap dog” of Donald Trump, extremely loyal and obedient, and was seemingly aware of Russian Collusion in 2016, was talking about it at a Republican House conference meeting, until Paul Ryan told him to stop talking about it. He is a man without any principles other than the advancement of Donald Trump and his agenda, part of the Trump party, rather than the traditional Republican Party, and even more so than Paul Ryan, who has been unwilling to speak out against Trump’s disgraceful tweets and policies. McCarthy has refused to engage in Town Hall events in his Bakersfield, California district since 2010. He also promoted pursuit of Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi, Libya incident, where four diplomats were killed, gaining a reputation of promoting a “hit job” on her, when many more diplomats were killed at embassies during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Steve Scalise, thankfully, recovered from being shot at the Congressional baseball game in June 2017, but it had no effect on his views on gun control, which is no regulation at all. Beyond that, Scalise used to be a friend of Ku Klux Klan Wizard and white supremacist David Duke, although now, of course, he denies it, and tries to claim it was not so. He would, in this author’s view, be a worse choice than McCarthy. However, for those who are uncomfortable with McCarthy, and might prefer a Southerner as the next Speaker, due to the strong GOP presence in the South, he might be seen as a potential favorite, and certainly less disgraceful by comparison, to the third choice, Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jim Jordan, who is a co leader of the House Freedom Caucus, the most Far Right group in the Republican Party, has been accused of covering up abuse of athletes on the wrestling team at Ohio State University, when he was an assistant coach in the 1980s. He was one of the Republicans who promoted government shutdowns, and has done everything possible to block the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from pursuing investigation of the Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. He also pursed the Benghazi, Libya investigation of the deaths of four diplomats, targeting Hillary Clinton in a total of 11 investigations, which found no evidence of wrongdoing, and which featured 11 hours of testimony by Clinton, with no sign of weakness on her part, as compared to the performance of many others investigated by Congressional committees. Plain and simple, Jordan would be the absolute worst of the three choices being considered by the Republicans, although others might join the fray after the midterm elections.

It is indeed a very sad situation when we can look back on John Boehner as being far better than Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan.

Let us hope that one of the latter three will be the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker of the House in 2019-2020.

The Long Term Crisis Of Supreme Court Legitimacy Could Tear This Nation Apart Over Next Few Decades

The US Supreme Court is entering a period which could tear this nation apart over the next few decades.

Here we are in the 21st century, and yet, the Supreme Court could be taking us back to the late 19th century Gilded Age in its constitutional decisions. Now there is a solid five member conservative majority, with the confirmation and swearing in of Brett Kavanaugh, the most contentious nominee with the closest vote in the Senate since Stanley Matthews’ appointment by President James A. Garfield in 1881.

Matthews served nearly eight years on the Supreme Court, having been nominated by President Rutherford B. Hayes, but seen at the time as too much of a “crony” of the President, so his nomination was withdrawn, but resubmitted by President James A. Garfield in 1881, and confirmed by the closest margin in history, 24-23, but with Kavanaugh the second lowest ever vote 50-48. This was the only Supreme Court appointment of Garfield, who had only served four months, when he was shot and mortally wounded by an assassin, and died in September 1881.

The concern about fairness on the part of Brett Kavanaugh however was not the same as Stanley Matthews, who was the majority opinion author in a case involving discrimination against Chinese laundries and their owners in San Francisco, with the case being Yick Wo V. Hopkins, enforcing the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This was a step forward at a difficult time, in the year 1886, although the government had passed into law the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

We could only hope for the kind of open mindedness on the part of Brett Kavanaugh, as occurred with Stanley Matthews’ authorship of this case, which gives him stature in Supreme Court history.

We have had Republican appointments in the past, who turned out to be surprises, including:

Earl Warren and William Brennan, appointed by Dwight D. Eisenhower

Harry Blackmun, appointed by Richard Nixon

John Paul Stevens, appointed by Gerald Ford

Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, appointed by Ronald Reagan

David Souter, appointed by George H. W. Bush

It would be a miracle at this point if Brett Kavanaugh were to travel the same road.

In a nation becoming more minority over the next decades, and with young people and women and college educated people veering to the left, while the Supreme Court veers dramatically to the Far Right, the question is whether civil disorder is not in the making, creating a crisis atmosphere in the future decades, exactly what America’s enemies are hoping for.

The Collapse Of Supreme Court Reputation And Evangelical Christian Legitimacy, But John Kasich Emerges As Rare Sane Voice In Republican Party

The Supreme Court has reached a crossroads, and will be going back a century to its most conservative nature since the Gilded Age. In the process, the concept of balance is gone, and the Court is losing its reputation as a reliable judgment on the meaning of the Constitution.

The Evangelical Christian movement is also losing its legitimacy, and is now shown for what it is, totally immoral, unethical, NOT based on the teachings and social justice of Jesus Christ, and undermining respect for an institution that is revealed as totally hypocritical, and displaying its misogyny.

We need the Supreme Court, but we do NOT need a religiously fanatical and false group, which is only interested in forcing theocracy on America, which the American people at large will NOT tolerate.

So we are entering the most dangerous period in more than 150 years, since the Civil War raged in the 1860s.

And Donald Trump is reveling in all this, as he works to undermine what is left of American democracy, and hopes to grab power and become an absolute dictator for the rest of his life.

Interestingly, in the midst of this promotion of chaos and anarchy by Donald Trump, we DO have a sane Republican, outgoing Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who on Sunday morning on CNN is emphasizing the need for unity and crossing the aisle. It is clear he will challenge Trump or Mike Pence for the Presidency in 2020, and his is one of the very few sane voices in the Republican Party, which at this point, seems “owned” by Donald Trump, but needs a strong challenge from someone like Kasich.

What Donald Trump is promoting must be bitterly opposed by mass action in the streets, and if the police refuse to honor the right of citizens under the Bill of Rights to peacefully demonstrate for redress of grievances, than a real violent reaction is likely, which Donald Trump will pay for in the annals of history!

Profiles In Courage: Heidi Heitkamp Of North Dakota And Lisa Murkowski Of Alaska

Tow US Senators, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the first a Red State Democrat, and the second a Republican, shine today as true “Profiles in Courage”, for voting NO on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Heitkamp is in danger of losing her seat, but let her conscience rule her decision.

Murkowski was the only Republican to break the solidarity of the party and do the right thing.

Both saw Kavanaugh as besmirching the image of the Supreme Court as more significant than the future of this one individual nominee.

The rest of the Republicans, including Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, and also Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia did what seemed more to defend their seats and position, than do what is right.

Susan Collins will now face the wrath of Maine voters in 2020, as will Ben Sasse in Nebraska, and both are likely to see their political influence wane as a result of their actions.