News and Politics

Discussion about news and politics

Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse A Major Disappointment, No Guts Or Principle

Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse is only 47, is clearly intelligent and scholarly, with a Ph. D. in American history from Yale, having taught at the University of Texas, and been a college President at a small liberal arts college, Midland University, in his home state.

As a fellow historian and professor, this author and blogger has found Sasse impressive and someone I could, while not agreeing with his conservative philosophy, have respect for when he has spoken up against the abuses of Donald Trump.

But now, there is a feeling of total disillusionment, as Sasse refused to vote against Trump on the Mexico Border Wall National Emergency, while 12 Republican Senators and all 47 Democratic Senators voted against Trump, but sadly, no means are available to gain 8 more Republicans and make for a two thirds override of Trump’s veto.

Sasse was clearly knowledgeable about the Constitution of the United States, but has become a coward, unwilling to alienate Trump or his supporters, with his reelection contest coming up in Nebraska in November 2020.

So his reelection, when he is not in danger of being homeless or hungry were he to lose his race, is more important than doing what is right. So personal needs overrule morality, ethics, and facts, absolutely unbelievable.

At one point, this author and blogger saw Sasse as a potential alternative to Trump, not someone I would have voted for but for whom I felt real respect.

That is now gone, and Ben Sasse has struck out, and cannot be believed or trusted ever again!

Birch Bayh, One Of The Best Senators Of Late 20th Century Dead At Age 91, A Truly Creative Legislator Who Should Have Been President

Former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, who served in the Senate from 1963-1981, passed away this week at age 91.

Birch Bayh was one of the best United States Senators of the late 20th century, a truly creative legislator who should have been President.

He competed in 1976 for the Democratic Presidential nomination against Jimmy Carter and many others, and he was the favorite of this blogger and author.

This is a man who promoted the passage of the 25th Amendment, providing for an Acting President if the President was incapacitated, and of the appointment and approval of a Vice Presidential replacement when there was a vacancy in that office.

This was the reaction of Bayh and others after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and with Lyndon B. Johnson having had a serious heart attack in 1955, and with potential successors being House Speaker John W. McCormack (age 73), and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Carl Hayden (age 86).

Bayh also promoted the 26th Amendment, giving 18 years olds the right to vote, and he also sponsored the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment, which failed of passage by enough states.

He also sponsored Title 9 of the amended Civil Rights Act in 1972, ending quotas for women in higher education and giving women equal opportunity to participate in sports.

Additionally, Bayh saved Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when they were both in a small plane crash in 1964.

Bayh was the father of Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh. He won three close races in Indiana, and then was defeated by future Vice President Dan Quayle in 1980.

Donald Trump A Growing Threat As He Denies White Nationalism Terrorism, And Promotes False Belief On Muslim Threat

President Donald Trump has become a “clear and present danger”, with his refusal to acknowledge white nationalist terrorism in America and around the globe, and exaggerates the role of Muslim terrorism in America. He refuses to see the New Zealand and other foreign white nationalist terrorism as a rising threat worldwide, and sets up a horrifying alternative promoting more of this.

The facts are that the vast majority of terrorist attacks are inspired by white nationalists who are motivated by the words of Donald Trump, who has spent his whole life promoting racism, nativism, Islamophobia, and consorts with antisemites despite his having some Jewish advisers and aides who work with him.

He wants a border wall when there is little to no danger from the primarily women and children escaping Central America, looking for a better life than that of poverty, crime, abuse, civil war in their homelands, encouraged by US policy going back to the Ronald Reagan era of the 1980s in that area, creating disarray and turmoil as America pursued advocacy of conflict in our nearest neighbors south of Mexico.

In the midst of everyone who has a brain seeing all of the white nationalist and National Rifle Association inspired terrorism, in the name of profit and fear of a changing and darkening America, our President lives in his own dream world of reality, and he inspires these criminals who commit mass terrorism and claim to be Trump supporters.

David Duke, Richard Spencer and their ilk are applauding Donald Trump for his lack of a moral base on the issue of gun violence and mass terrorism, and in so doing, is encouraging a civil war, when he tells us that the police, the military, and his supporters will defend him at all costs.

That assertion alone should lead to his removal from office as a threat to the nation and civil order!

Horrible Week For Donald Trump: Unanimous Demand To Release Mueller Report, And 12 GOP Senators Oppose Trump On Border Wall “National Emergency”

Donald Trump has just had one of the most miserable weeks any President has had.

There was a unanimous demand in the House of Representatives for the release of the Mueller report to the public, when it comes out.

Also, 12 Republican Senators joined all 47 Democrats to condemn the Border Wall “National Emergency” which Trump has perpetrated.

Unfortunately, Trump used his veto on the 59-41 repudiation, and only if 8 more Republicans join in an override vote, will Trump be stopped from his continuation of a “national emergency”, although court cases are in process and will delay, if not prevent the follow through on this unnecessary waste of money building a wall on the Southern border.

However, it was very disappointing that only one Republican Senator running for reelection, Susan Collins of Maine, voted against Trump, while such Senators as Thom Tillis of North Carolina (who had written a Washington Post Op Ed explaining why he would oppose Trump, but then flip flopped) and Ben Sasse of Nebraska (who had been critical of Trump, and was thought to be a bright young Senator in his 40s with some conviction and principle) showed no guts and are more concerned about their own reelection contests coming up in 2020.

Beto O’Rourke Enters The Presidential Race: Is He The New Hope For The Democrats In 2020?

Former three term El Paso, Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is the newest entry into the Democratic Presidential race, and is exciting many young voters and others tired of the “establishment” veterans.

O’Rourke is 46, has three children 8, 10, and 12, and his wife Amy Hoover Sanders is 37. If he won the Presidency, it would bring a young family into the White House.

O’Rourke is seen as a moderate centrist, in the line of Joe Biden, but a full 30 years younger.

He came within about two and a half points of Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the Midterm Elections of 2018.

He shares the same first and middle name of Robert Francis Kennedy, the brother of John F. Kennedy, and himself the Attorney General and New York Senator who sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968 before being assassinated on June 6, 1968. And he looks as if he a spitting image of a younger Robert Kennedy but much taller than RFK, although not related to him.

It is an oddity that his wife has the first name of Democratic Presidential rival Amy Klobuchar; a middle name the same as President Herbert Hoover; and a last name the same as Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders. And their older son’s first name is Ulysses, the first name of President Ulysses S. Grant.

O’Rourke has charisma, charm, and personal appeal, and that could just be the right combination for 2020, and opens up the chance that Texas just might go “Blue”, making it easier to win the White House.

There is a long way to go in this Presidential competition, but O’Rourke has made it more exciting, as earlier Barack Obama did in 2008, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

Nancy Pelosi Is Wrong On Impeachment, And It Will Likely Occur Anyway, As History Justifies It, Even With Reality That Trump Would Not Be Convicted By US Senate

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has come out against moving toward impeachment of Donald Trump, saying it is NOT worth it to do so, unless the evidence is overwhelming, conclusive, and has bipartisan backing.

That was NOT the viewpoint of Republicans in 1868 when they impeached Andrew Johnson, or Republicans in 1999 when they impeached Bill Clinton.

The case against both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton was weak, and both avoided conviction in the US Senate.

But the case against Donald Trump is very strong, as clearly, he has abused power, obstructed justice, has had the most corrupt administration in American history, and has had more of the people associated with him indicted, convicted, and sentenced than any other President, and after only two years in office, with the first legal actions starting months into his term.

Donald Trump will not be convicted in the US Senate, unless something shocking occurs, which finally moves Republicans to abandon him, as they eventually did in the case of Richard Nixon.

For the record of history, Donald Trump needs to be punished by being impeached, based on the facts, and for his eventual obituary to report that fact in an early paragraph, as it did for Andrew Johnson, and will for Bill Clinton, both impeached on flimsy grounds. And as it is reported on Richard Nixon, that he was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee, and resigned shortly after.

Florida The Key State In American Politics, With Extremely Close Elections, And Former Felons Able To Vote In Future

The “Sunshine” State, Florida, where this author and blogger has resided for the past three decades, is notable for extremely close elections, but with Republicans in control of the state legislature, the Governorship, and the majority of Congressional seats and both Senate seats in 2019.

But with former felons now able to vote in the future, and the number of Puerto Rican migrants who have settled in the central part of the state, it is clear that Florida might in the next decade move toward a greater opportunity for the Democratic Party to start winning the state in the Presidential elections in the 2020s, and slowly start to have an opportunity to win state legislative control, and possible future state executive control in the long run.

Right now, the three most prominent statewide officials, all Republicans, are Governor Ron DeSantis, and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. It is conceivable that all three could be potential GOP Presidential contenders in 2024, with DeSantis and Rubio now only in their 40s.

But if the Democrats can somehow develop a “bench”, not easy to do, the opportunities for Democratic advancement are possible.

The biggest issue is that there is no one Florida, but multiple Floridas, as North Florida is Southern, Central Florida tends to be Midwest. and South Florida is Northeast. The key battleground is Central Florida, and Puerto Rican growth, along with former felons all over the state voting, could transform the state over time.

If Texas Went “Blue” In 2020, The Midwest Would No Longer Be Essential For Democratic Hold On White House

The possibility now exists, after “Beto” O’Rourke ran the best Democratic race for statewide office in Texas by a Democrat in 30 years, when he came close to defeating Republican Senator Ted Cruz in November 2018, that the state might turn “Blue” in the near future.

If O’Rourke or former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro ends up running as the Presidential or even Vice Presidential nominee in 2020 for the Democrats, the party might win the 38 electoral votes of Texas, replacing the need for the Midwest states that Hillary Clinton lost to be won if the Democrats are to gain the White House.

And if Joaquin Castro, Julian’s identical twin brother, now a Congressman from San Antonio, runs against Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, and is able to win the state, it will be ever more insurance on the short term and long term future of Texas in the Democratic camp.

The Decision Of Sherrod Brown Not To Run For President Opens Opportunity For Amy Klobuchar Of Minnesota To Be The “Midwest” Candidate

The decision of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to forego an opportunity to run for President as a Midwesterner in a time when the Midwest is clearly the battleground in the Electoral College in 2020 is a open opportunity for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to be the “Midwest” candidate.

Klobuchar is the only Midwesterner likely to run, although Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, a fellow moderate, has hinted at running, but being a United States Senator is an edge over being a House member.

The main point against Klobuchar is the report that she is a nasty, unpleasant person to work for, but even if that is true, the record shows many others also have that reputation, including Presidents ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, to Donald Trump in the last half century.

Also, it is said she is too ‘moderate” in that she does not believe that everything promoted and promised by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others is possible in the next term, and that she will not promise what she sees as campaign propaganda, leading to disillusionment when it is not possible to accomplish these massive pledges.

This seems perfectly reasonable to this author and blogger, and Klobuchar has a solid record of accomplishment, and of “crossing the aisle” to gain bipartisan support on legislation. She is in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) tradition in Minnesota, the heir of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and even Al Franken (unfairly forced out of the Senate) by bullying over unproved charges of sexual harassment promoted aggressively by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for whom this author and blogger lost all respect.

Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020, close to the ideal average age of most Presidents taking office, and she would bring to the Presidency a sensible commitment to social justice, avoiding extreme statements that would only assist Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their reelection campaign.

She would also bring a reasonable woman into the Presidency, more cautious and sensible in her rhetoric than the alternative female candidates.

And if she chose Julian Castro of Texas, we would have a Democratic ticket of a woman and a Latino, overcoming two barriers at once, and leaving Castro, who would be age 46 in 2020, open to a future run for President after two terms of President Klobuchar, and be the precise average age of Presidents, mid 50s, in 2028.

The Castro Brothers, Julian And Joaquin, Big Time Political Stars

Two Texas brothers and identical twins, Julian and Joaquin Castro, have become big time political stars, with Julian running for President, and Joaquin leading the charge as his campaign manager, and the leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress.

Julian was Mayor of San Antonio, the seventh largest city in America, from 2009-2014, and was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014-2017 under President Barack Obama. If elected, he would be the first Hispanic/Latino President, and the first President since Herbert Hoover whose highest federal position was as a cabinet officer under a President. He was considered a finalist to run for Vice President with Hillary Clinton in 2016, and some observers think he would have helped Clinton to win the Electoral College, but that subject to debate. He gained notice in 2012 nationally when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.

If Julian Castro was elected, he would be the third youngest President, behind Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. He supports comprehensive immigration reform; free trade; first two years of public higher education tuition free; universal health care and Medicare For All; the Paris Climate Accord; refusal to take PAC money as part of his campaign; Affirmative Action; and assault weapons ban; gay rights; and abortion rights. So that makes him a progressive on the left of the Democratic Party, but not seen as far left as Bernie Sanders.

Brother Joaquin Castro has been a Congressman from the San Antonio area since 2013, so is in his fourth term in the House of Representatives. Earlier, he was a member of the Texas State House of Representatives from 2003-2013. This year, Joaquin has been the leader in organizing to oppose Donald Trump’s Border Wall Emergency Declaration, and has been standing out as one of the leading members of the Democratic caucus.

To differentiate himself from his brother, Joaquin has grown a beard, as otherwise, it is impossible to tell which brother is Joaquin or Julian. Some humorists have said Joaquin could replace Julian in a public sphere, and most people would not know the difference.

It is rumored that Joaquin, while running his brother’s campaign for President, might also seek the Senate seat of Republican John Cornyn in 2020.

It is clear that the Castro brothers will be national figures for the long term future, no matter what happens.

This author and blogger, at this point, is quite enthused by Julian Castro, who is seen as on his short list of favorites for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

It would be fitting if we had a Latino President after Donald Trump has bashed Latinos and people from Mexico as part of his nativism as a candidate and as a President.

It is felt that if Castro was the Democratic nominee in 2020, the state of Texas, with 38 electoral votes would be in play, and if won, the Midwest battleground everyone talks about would not be as crucial in winning the Electoral College.