The Importance Of Maintaining A Democratic Senate Majority

Many people, who do not understand the importance of midterm elections, have wondered whether it makes any difference if we have a Democratic Senate or a Republican Senate.

There are many reasons why it is extremely crucial that the Democrats retain the Senate, since it is clear that the Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives, and may gain more seats, and go from a 233-199 (with three vacancies) total to over 240, due to gerrymandering, and the power of incumbency.

A Democratic Senate gives Barack Obama the chance to gain a new Supreme Court Justice of his own choice, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg or any other Justice decides to retire in the next two years, or if any Justice should die while a member of the Court. Also, ability to have circuit and district court judges, and cabinet positions, and other appointments approved would be very difficult if the GOP controlled the Senate.

A Democratic Senate prevents any serious move toward a likely impeachment of Barack Obama, as the Republicans would see no point to doing it, if there was no chance of a conviction, which in reality would not happen in any case, as it would require a two thirds (67) vote to convict and remove. The Republicans might be fully aware that it would not succeed, but might wish to besmirch the historical record of Obama, much as they did with Bill Clinton in 1998-1999.

A Democratic Senate insures that in two years, with two thirds of the seats up for election being Republicans, that the Democrats would likely gain 6-8 seats, and might, in 2017, reach the magic number of 60 or more, preventing any possible use of the filibuster tactic.

A Democratic Senate would insure the survival of ObamaCare, and the inability of any further move to destroy this signature program. Additionally, attempts to reverse other changes and reforms that have occurred would be impossible, all to the good.

A Democratic Senate would make it unnecessary for President Obama to utilize the veto power, which he has used very sparingly in his time in office.

A Democratic Senate would mean that the Republican Party had lost its last opportunity to gain control of both Houses, and in 2016, with a strong Democratic nominee for President, and the likelihood of coattail effects in those states that are “blue” or “purple”, would likely lead to a flip in the House to Democratic control, and the GOP would never again, any time soon, gain control of either House of Congress, as they have shown no desire to deal with the important issues that face the nation in domestic policy, and refusal to support Barack Obama in foreign policy, having abandoned the long held view of a sense of bipartisanship when dealing with the world and its problems.

Family Names May Not Help Democratic Senators In Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, But Senate Will Remain Democratic With Margin of 53-47 Or 52-48!

Three Democratic Senators with famous family names and moderate conservative records in office seem likely to be victims of the Republican opposition, and to lose their seats in November.

Mark Begich’s father was a Congressman from Alaska, but Begich seems likely to lose his seat to Dan Sullivan, the GOP nominee for his seat.

Mark Pryor’s father was a Senator from Arkansas, but Pryor seems likely to lose his seat to Republican Congressman Tom Cotton.

Mary Landrieu’s father and brother were Mayors of New Orleans, but although she is known for winning tight races, it seems likely she will lose her seat in the Senate to Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy.

However, these losses are likely to be matched by victories in Kentucky, Georgia, and Kansas, which will make it an even balance, and Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, and Oregon are highly likely to remain Democratic. It is also clear that Montana and West Virginia are likely to switch from Democratic to Republican.

So the one seat left to be mentioned is South Dakota, with its four way race of Republican former Governor Mike Rounds; former Republican, now Independent Larry Pressler; and Democrat Rick Weiland, with even a fourth candidate, another Independent, Gordon Howie, making it highly likely that either Weiland or Pressler (who voted for Barack Obama twice despite his earlier GOP service in the Senate) might win this donnybrook of a race and join the Democratic caucus in the US Senate.

So this blogger predicts a final Senate of either 52 or 53 Democrats and Independents, and 47 or 48 Republicans, depending on South Dakota’s final results. That would be a 2 to 3 seat gain in the Senate for the GOP, but control of the Senate continuing for the Democrats!

Two Democratic Senate Women Nominees On Way To Victory, Insuring A Democratic Senate Majority In 2015-2016!

As stated yesterday, the odds of two Democratic women Senators keeping their seats is highly likely–Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and Kay Hagan in North Carolina.

Since the Democrats are bound to lose some seats in the US Senate, this is a good omen, but it is added to by the strong likelihood of two women running for the Senate in “Red” states, Kentucky and Georgia, who are seen as new women members of the upper chamber.

These are Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky and Michelle Nunn of Georgia, who will counteract the likely loss of Democratic seats in Alaska, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Grimes has had to fight a rough battle against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but the top two Kentucky newspapers have endorsed her, and the negativism and nastiness and obstructionism of McConnell makes him the number one target to defeat for Democrats nationwide. McConnell has done nothing for the large poor population, both white and black, in his state, and has been the cheer leader of every attempt to prevent Barack Obama from having any success in his time in the Presidency. In that, McConnell has failed, and it will be a glorious moment when he is forced to concede to Grimes, who has proved she is a tough lady, and that she will be a positive force in the Senate over the next six years.

Michelle Nunn, daughter of respected former Senator Sam Nunn, has run an excellent race against business David Perdue, who brags about his success at outsourcing jobs. Nunn is ahead in most polls, and is very competent and qualified, and like Grimes, is seen as likely to win, and this blogger predicts their success, along with Shaheen in New Hampshire and Hagan in North Carolina.

Tomorrow, we will look at three highly endangered seats–in Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Senate Races Tight, But Two Democratic Women Senators Could Be Key To Keeping Democratic Party Majority In Upper Chamber!

It is clear that the battle for the US Senate is a real combat zone, but two Democratic women Senators, one in New England, and one in the upper South, could be the key to keeping the Democratic Party majority in the upper chamber!

In New Hampshire, we have Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who has been the first woman to serve as Governor for two terms, followed by one term in the US Senate. She has a solid record, and New Hampshire, as the only state to have both Senators being female, along with the Governor, and both Congressional seats, and all Democrats, except for Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, bodes well for Shaheen.

Her opponent is former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who took over Ted Kennedy’s seat, and then lost it to Elizabeth Warren in 2012. Brown had defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley, and he now has the distinction of being the only person to run for the Senate three times, and have women as his opponents each time!

Brown is seen as making the election close, but it seems highly unlikely that as a Massachusetts resident who only has a vacation home in New Hampshire, and is therefore seen as a “carpetbagger”, will be able to convince voters to kick out a popular leader who has been in the top government offices of Governor and Senator for a total now of 14 years. And it has been made clear that despite his assertion that he is a “bipartisan” Senator, ultimately he will support the Republican agenda, and undermine the last two years of Barack Obama’s Presidency. Also, it is rumored that he wants to use the Senate seat to run for President in 2016, while Shaheen has shown her total loyalty to her state!

The other seat which seems likely to remain Democratic is North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan faces a tough contest against North Carolina Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is extremely right wing in his record, and has set North Carolina backward in health care and education with the assistance of Governor Pat McCrory, who turned much more right wing than he indicated when he ran for and won the Governorship two years ago!

Kay Hagan is ahead in most polls, and it seems a good bet that she, and Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, will keep these Senate seats “blue”, and help to keep the Democrats in control of the US Senate in 2015-2016!

Governorships Turning “Blue” A Trend!

The Tea Party Movement won a lot of state governorships in the past four years, but the game is up, and many states with Republican Governors will see their repudiation next week, and this will have a positive effect on state primaries and caucuses in 2016, and insure that a majority of states, including most of the large populated states, with more electoral votes, will go “blue” and give us a Democratic President on Inauguration Day in 2017.

The following states should have Democratic Governors come January:

Maine–with the removal of Paul LePage
Pennsylvania–with the removal of Tom Corbett
Georgia–with the removal of Nathan Deal
Florida–with the removal of Rick Scott
Michigan–with the removal of Rick Snyder
Wisconsin–with the removal of Scott Walker
Kansas–with the removal of Sam Brownback

It will be a glorious moment when these seven Governors, so outrageously terrible in office, are retired from office against their will!

Governors Chris Christie And Andrew Cuomo Acting Like Bullies With Returning Medical and Military Personnel From West Africa: Promoting Fear Instead Of Scientific Facts About Ebola!

We are now witnessing two politicians, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, who are promoting their own political futures, by stoking fear of Ebola, rather than promoting scientific facts!

These two men are acting like bullies with returning medical and military personnel from West Africa, who have donated their time and efforts to stop the Ebola epidemic, and the reaction is to forcibly quarantine a nurse, with no consideration of her human rights or the conditions she has been put under, when there is no evidence that she has Ebola, or will contract Ebola from her experience treating patients!

Ebola can only become a problem for anyone who is intimately involved with a possibly exposed person, or has been subjected to such a person’s body fluids, and is NOT an airborne disease, and so far only one person has died, and a few, who have been infected, have recovered or are recovering. Meanwhile, tens of thousand die of Flu and Pneumonia annually, and there is not public scare by these Governors or other politicians, and no forced quarantining!

There is no epidemic, but discouraging volunteers from going to West Africa by the shabby treatment they receive upon return, will only help to make the epidemic worse, and spread the disease where it is, and promote more deaths there.

These two politicians already have the image of being abrasive and uncaring about how they come across, with one, Christie, trying to promote his campaign for President by acting “tough”, and the other, Cuomo, trying to insure his gubernatorial victory in nine days, and also thinking about running for President. Their “concern” is all political, not based on health concerns or scientific knowledge!

Their heavy handedness will, hopefully, undermine their future Presidential plans, as both are showing up as very willing to be abusive of their powers, and more interested in their own futures, than in doing what will avoid fear, hysteria, and panic!

Fear, Panic, Hysteria, And The Media: Reflection On The Real Dangers Amidst Us!

It is shocking and reprehensible how the reaction to the Ebola issue is fear, panic, and hysteria, all fueled by irresponsible, reckless media of all kinds and opportunistic politicians!

Yes, Ebola is something to be concerned about, and knowledge and education is essential, but not the crazy reaction of media, and the demagoguery being promoted by politicians, who do not know or appreciate medicine and science, but are too ready to make Ebola a political issue, and promote, in the process, their own careers by scaring people, and undermining cooperation to resolve this matter in an organized, sensible manner.

IF we really want to overcome dangers, threats, and concerns about what we face, consider the following:

Ebola, as terrible as it is, has killed about 5,000 people, mostly in West Africa, and only one person in America. Even if that death toll rises, it is NOT going to reach the total of about 50,000 annually dying from Flu and Pneumonia in America, and even with that reality, many Americans do not get annual Flu shots or Pneumonia shots as a precaution, because of unfounded fears that any shots or vaccinations, even for children, is dangerous!

Auto accidents cause the death of 40,000 per year on the average, but what do we do about texting while driving; drinking while driving; reckless speeders; and those on illegal drugs who drive and often are high?

Gun deaths average at least about 11,000 per year, but we cannot get any gun legislation through Congress, due to the National Rifle Association.

Smoking, alcoholism, and drug addiction causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year combined, but no panic and hysteria about that.

Child abuse and assaults on women cause innumerable deaths per year, but no sense of trying to do something about it has occurred, just shaking heads and rolling eyes!

When there was limited media, we had real epidemics of Typhoid Fever, Tuberculosis, Flu, Leprosy, and other diseases, yet no panic on the scale we see now.

We have the continued problem of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and AIDS has caused more deaths than Ebola ever will, without all that much concern by most people, who just figured that since a majority of people who have this disease have been gay or lesbian, at least in America, why worry about “them”, but also there are many heterosexual victims as well, and no great attention paid to it by most Americans.

The point being made is that it is the reckless news media and the political opportunists who are trying to blame Ebola on Barack Obama, and make it seem as if he wants this epidemic to occur in America, and they have a stupid, ignorant portion of the American people who accept every allegation and sensationalistic statement as total truth, when they are bald faced lies!

Elizabeth Warren Should Run For President!

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has been talked about for months as a potential Presidential candidate, but she has always said she is not interested, and has signed a statement backing Hillary Clinton.

But she has been campaigning for the election and reelection of Democrats across the nation, and has attracted large and enthusiastic audiences everywhere she goes, including early caucus and primary states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, along with many other states.

She inspires people with her message of attack on the barons of Wall Street, and the need to make the banks lower interest rates on repayment of college loans, which have burdened millions of students, who will never be able to marry, own a home, own an automobile, have children, and a normal life, because their college education has enslaved them in long term debt, due to very high interest rates.

Warren also promoted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the major accomplishments of the Obama Presidency.

She has come across as a truly genuine, real, human being, rare for a politician. Her sincerity and real concern for promoting fairness and equity in America has pushed the demand that she run for President.

The odds of her being the Presidential nominee seem low, but her campaign would make other Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and other potential candidates work harder, and make for a better campaign, and she could certainly end up as Vice President or a key member of the cabinet under a Democratic President, assuming she loses the chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

Running for President will certainly not hurt her future, and it just might make our future as a nation much better!

Sexism In Congress: Mistreatment Of Women Who Serve In Our Legislative Institutions

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently wrote about the sexism that exists in Congress, where she has served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Now Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has seconded Gillibrand’s account, making clear that some male members of Congress speak and act in an inappropriate manner, and have no shame about their behavior.

There is a tendency to wish to avoid confrontation by naming names, and holding Congressmen and Senators to account.

But, it would be a great step forward, not only for Congress, but for American society for women to make it clear they will not tolerate inappropriate behavior in the name of “getting along”.

A well known Senator, Republican Bob Packwood of Oregon, was forced to resign after investigation in the mid 1990s of his horrible behavior over a 27 year period in the Senate.

This should not be forgotten, and if heads must roll, so be it, as it is overdue for women in Congress, and everywhere, to have proper respect and behavior displayed toward them by their colleagues, as well as those who have power over them as employers and supervisors!

Death Of A Journalism Giant: Ben Bradlee Of The Washington Post, Who Helped To Expose The Corruption Of Richard Nixon!

The Washington Post Editor, Ben Bradlee, who helped to expose the corruption of Richard Nixon in the Watergate Scandal, and also published the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which exposed the truth of our involvement in Vietnam, died yesterday at the age of 93 of natural causes.

Bradlee was one of the greatest newspaper editors of all time, and made the Washington Post a newspaper competitive with the New York Times.

Bradlee was not afraid to challenge official Washington, DC, and was often threatened by Nixon henchmen, but he was persistent in exposing the truth.

Bradlee hired Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who were rookie reporters who did the underground “dirty work” to develop the story behind the Watergate Break In on June 17, 1972, which brought down a Presidency two years later.

Bradlee did so much for investigative journalism, and will always be remembered for his courage, guts, principle, and long range impact on journalism.

Sadly, however, we will, probably never see his kind again, certainly not in the old system of print journalism!