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!

The Coming War On The 17th Amendment By Conservatives!

The right wing in America has a planned strategy to conduct war on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, one of the greatest of all amendments added since the first ten were enacted as the Bill of Rights!

The 17th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1913, came as the outgrowth of the Progressive Era, and occurred at its peak, the vigorous campaign for progressive reform promoted by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential Election of 1912. It was also endorsed by the incumbent President, William Howard Taft, who had elements of progressivism in him despite his general reputation as a conservative, which led to his disastrous third place finish in 1912, despite being the Republican nominee.

The 17th Amendment developed in reaction to “muckraker” David Graham Phillips’ path breaking non fiction exposure, “THE TREASON OF THE SENATE”, which demonstrated the corruption of the US Senate, and its leading figure, Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, and led to direct popular election of the US Senate from 1913 onward.

One could argue that even with popular vote, the US Senate often disappoints us, and there are Senators who are an embarrassment and a disgrace to that legislative body.

But now, conservatives are promoting the idea of the repeal of the 17th Amendment, returning us to the method in the Constitution adopted in 1787, to have the often corrupt state legislatures choose the Senators, and deny the population the popular vote involvement in selecting the members of the upper body of Congress.

The theory has developed that all the laws passed to promote political, social and economic reform since 1913, including the massive reforms of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and all other Presidents might be repealed as illegitimate if the Senate method of election returned to the pre 1913 system.

This is an alarming development, and joined with the desire to get rid of the 16th Amendment (federal income tax) and the 19th Amendment (woman suffrage), all of these “Progressive” amendments, could, if enacted take us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

The Promotion Of Fear And Panic A Typical Republican Response To Any Issue Or Problem!

The Midterm Elections of 2014 might be decided not on the issues, but on the promotion of fear and panic, being utilized to scare voters!

It is not a new tactic by the Republican Party, but rather an old strategy used in the past.

Leave it to the GOP to use fear of “Socialism”, “Progressivism”, “Liberalism”, distorting all three terms as against America, as a way to prevent political, social, and economic reform that takes power away from the wealthy and the corporations!

The Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s, as promoted by Richard Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, and other demagogues, had a deleterious effect on people’s lives, and victimized many innocent people.

Fear and panic were used by Presidents, including Richard Nixon and George W. Bush to promote war in Vietnam and in Iraq!

The Republican Party has abandoned its original support of African American civil rights, and has now promoted racism to attract uneducated and poor and lower middle class whites to vote against their own economic interests.

Now fear and panic are being used because of the Ebola Crisis to convince people to vote Republican, despite the fact that the GOP has done nothing positive in any form, and has set out to obstruct everything that Barack Obama has tried to do, with him succeeding in many initiatives despite constant attack and criticism and attempts to block progress.

If the Republicans succeed in convincing the American people to go nuts over Ebola, when the flu and pneumonia causes 50,000 deaths a year without fear and panic; and if 11,000 people a year killed by firearms annually is not seen as a crisis; then the American people will get what they deserve—incompetent, corrupt, and uncaring government, which will work to undermine all of the progress of the New Deal and Great Society for the past 80 years!

Conservative Argument That America Is A “Christian Nation” NOT True!

The right wing loves to say that Americans are a “Christian nation”, but that assertion is NOT true!

It is true that a majority of Americans are born to the Christian faith, whether Catholic or any of the many Protestant sects, or Eastern Orthodox.

But our Founding Fathers, while born Christian, were in many cases skeptics about organized Christianity, and certainly had no mission to promote a church-state combination, a theocracy, as they knew of the turmoil and sufferings of such combinations in European history, including Great Britain, France, the German states, and Czarist Russia, along with the effects of Islam on the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Therefore, the Constitution of the United States made clear to keep separation of church and state separate, and there is no statement of America as a “Christian nation” by the Founding Fathers.

There are plenty of statements by many Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and others that advocated separation of church and state, and a sense of skepticism about organized Christianity being part of government.

We also have evidence that conservative Christian pastors condemned the Constitution after its adoption because of the fact that it was a document which, clearly, was secular in nature, and some called the Constitution an atheistic document, which shows how hard the Founding Fathers had worked to undermine the creation of a theocracy, which would allow persecution of non Christians or non believers in religion itself.

After the Civil War, the right wing Christian pastors tried repeatedly to amend the Constitution to make America a Christian nation and make references to Jesus Christ, but those attempts failed, and the only religious reference that would become normal was to say “In God We Trust” on American coinage.

The deleterious effect of this movement among right wing Christian pastors, however, led to anti Catholic and anti Jewish practices and laws locally, discriminating against the immigration of so called “undesirable” groups.

Additionally, for a long period of time, commerce was limited by “Blue Laws”, which banned economic activities on Sundays, finally overcome about 50 years ago, as if someone does not wish to do shopping or other commerce on the Christian Sabbath, that is their choice, but should not be imposed on others, one of the examples of what happens when theocracy and its narrow mindedness is allowed to take hold.

So America is NOT a “Christian nation”, but rather a nation of a diverse number of religious groups, with a majority of Christian sects, including Catholicism, something the majority Protestants did not wish to acknowledge!

Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito MUST Go!

Three members of the Supreme Court live in their own parallel world of the Founding Fathers and the Gilded Age and the 1920s, and refuse to consider modernization as a factor in their judicial judgments!

Antonin Scalia, appointed in 1986 by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas, appointed in 1991 by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito, appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush are a team of three, which has worked against gender equality,racial equality, fair treatment to immigrants, and gay rights, among other modern controversies.

Often, Chief Justice John Roberts joins them, and sometimes, but less often than Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy also joins to make a right wing five on the Court.

But Roberts and Kennedy have also taken stands with the four liberal justices on the Court lately–Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

It is time to demand that Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito adjust to modern times, or else leave the Court, and there is a dire need to have a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of all federal judges at all levels, to promote open mindedness and diversity, and allow for change after, at most 18-20 years!

Right Wing Hysteria Over Ebola An Outrage, As Republicans And Conservatives Ignore Much Greater Causes Of Death!

The right wing in America has no limits in its outrages, and now have used the Ebola Crisis to promote hysteria and panic, and of course, blame it all on Barack Obama.

Some lunatics are saying that Obama has caused this problem, and that he wishes to declare martial law and suspend the Presidential Election of 2016 and stay on beyond January 20, 2017, a totally preposterous and whacko idea, which they know is a total lie!

And while Republicans and conservatives rail about Ebola, they have no concern about the much larger threat to life by murders and injuries by firearms; the reality of automobile accidents as a major cause of death, including drunken drivers; the great loss of life from flu and pneumonia; and the ever present danger of domestic violence; along with other causes of death, such as bee stings, drowning, lightning, fireworks, and dog attacks, among others.

There is not an issue or problem that the right wing does not use as an excuse to do harm to our President and the entire government structure, and many wish for the removal of Obama by violence and overthrow, which should be enough for the Secret Service to arrest and imprison critics who go beyond the pale, and threaten our whole constitutional system of government!

Republicans Flub Debates, Both Governor And Senate Candidates

The Republican Party is self destructing in campaign debates in many states!

Florida Governor Rick Scott boycotted the first five minutes of his debate with former Governor Charlie Crist, and came across as dishonest, cold, stiff, and uncaring about those less fortunate.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did very poorly in his debate against Democratic opponent Mary Burke.

Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis of North Carolina was very unimpressive in his debate against Democratic Senator Kay Hagan.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came across as someone who needs to retire, in his debate against Kentucky Democratic Senate opponent Allison Lundergan Grimes.

Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott came across as a hypocrite in his debate against Democratic gubernatorial opponent Wendy Davis.

It is clear that most Republicans are on the defensive on their records, and that the Democrats are coming across as deserving election, or keeping their positions!

“Assassinations, Threats, And The American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson To Barack Obama” Available For Pre Order On Amazon!

I am very proud to announce that my forthcoming book, entitled “Assassinations, Threats, And The American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson To Barack Obama”, being published by Rowman & Littlefield in mid April 2015, is now listed on Amazon, and is available for preorder.

This book will cover all known threats against 16 Presidents, including the five living Presidents; the assassination of two and the wounding of a third Presidential candidate; and a discussion of fifteen men who might have become President, had assassins been more successful than they were.

The book also has art prints and photographs of the most significant assassination threats, some successful, and others not; and also has a set of charts to clarify the whole issue of the assassination threats throughout Presidential history over the past 180 years.

Washington Post 95% In Belief Republicans Will Win Senate In November: Totally A Delusion!

It is amazing that the Washington Post is predicting by a percentage of 95 percent that the Republicans will win the six seats needed to control the US Senate in 2015-2016.

Even if they do, which is highly unlikely, with two thirds of the seats in 2016 having incumbent Republicans, it is certain that the Democrats, if they lose control will regain it with a major margin in 2016!

But to believe that the Republicans will gain six seats is belied by the likely defeat of Pat Roberts in Kansas and Mike Rounds in South Dakota, both which no one had thought possible to go to the Democrats.

And those who think Mary Landrieu is not going to win her seat in Louisiana forget her ability to survive, as the only sane major figure in a state which includes Bobby Jindal and David Vitter, both disgraces in every possible manner!

And Mitch McConnell in Kentucky is not going to win his seat this time around against Allison Lundergan Grimes, and Georgia will go Democratic as well with Michelle Nunn, which means even if the Republicans win six seats, they will lose three in those those two states and Kansas, and will not win one of the so called three “guaranteed” states of South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia!

North Carolina with Kay Hagan seems safe, while admittedly, Arkansas, with Mark Pryor, is in more danger.

Expect overall a three seat Senate gain for the Republicans, with the Senate going from 55-45 to 52-48, including a likely four independents, from Maine, Vermont, South Dakota (or Democrat Rick Weiland winning instead of Independent Larry Pressler), and Kansas!