News and Politics

Discussion about news and politics

Long Out Of Office Republican Presidential Contenders, Or Never In Office: A Record Number In History!

It is not totally uncommon for politicians who have left office to run for President years later.

Abraham Lincoln had not been in public office for 12 years, after serving one term in the House of Representatives, when he ran for and won the Presidency in 1860.

Richard Nixon had not been in public office for 8 years, although he ran for California Governor two years after leaving the Vice Presidency in 1960, and won the Presidency in 1968.

Ronald Reagan had not been in public office for 6 years, although he ran unsuccessfully for the Presidential nomination of his party two years after leaving the Governorship, and won the Presidency in 1980.

But now, in 2015, we have a whole slew of candidates out of public office for a long time.

Jeb Bush left the Florida Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office.

Rick Santorum lost his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2012.

Mike Huckabee left the Arkansas Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008.

George Pataki left the New York Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office.

Jim Gilmore left the Virginia Governorship in 2001, so it will be 15 years since he held office, although he ran briefly for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008, and lost an attempt at a Senate race in 2008, as well.

Bob Ehrlich left the Maryland Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for reelection in 2006 and lost, and tried again for the Governorship in 2010 and lost both times to Martin O’Malley.

This is a record number of candidates who have been out of office for so long, 10-15 years in duration.

Also, three candidates have NEVER held public office–Carly Fiorina, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Donald Trump.

So NINE potential candidates out of what are now a potential 18-19 in total have long ago left office, or never held office!

Republican Infighting On Who To Blame For ISIL (ISIS): Rand Paul Vs. John McCain And Lindsey Graham! It Only Helps The Democrats In 2016!

The Republican Presidential race is getting ever more heated and divisive, as the fight over who is to blame for the rise of ISIL (ISIS) rages.

The standard argument of many Republicans is that Barack Obama is responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS). And some blame Hillary Clinton since she was Obama’s Secretary of State in his first term.

At the same time, Democrats say it is George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who are responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS).

But now, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who could be described as a “dove” in foreign policy, blames neither Obama nor Bush and company.

Rather, he blames fellow Republican Senators and Super “hawks” John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham (a soon to be announced opponent for the Republican Presidential nomination) for the rise of ISIL (ISIS)!

And, to top it off, the Wall Street Journal says it is Rand Paul who is responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS), as he is an “isolationist”!

So civil war is breaking out in the Republican Party over the Middle East and military intervention.

It is clear that IF somehow, highly unlikely, Rand Paul were to win the GOP nomination, the neoconservatives who took us into Iraq in 2003 would refuse to support him, all to the good for Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic nominee for President in 2016.

But if somehow, even less likely, Lindsey Graham were to win the nomination, he would face an equally divided party, and would have even less chance of defeating any Democrat for the White House!

Bernie Sanders Reminds Many Of Robert Kennedy And Eugene McCarthy In 1968

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced his candidacy yesterday in Burlington, Vermont, in a more formal way than his original announcement several weeks ago.

It was an exciting event, with about 5,000 people showing up in the city that Sanders once governed as Mayor in the 1980s.

Sanders was inspiring in his rhetoric, and reminded many of the candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy in 1968, tragically ending in the assassination of RFK in June, 1968.

RFK and McCarthy gave people hope in so many ways, just as Sanders does that today, in a much more complex time, when we have billionaires dictating much of the agenda; when we are engaged in foreign turmoil in many ways worse than even the Vietnam War, as the threat to the homeland is real; and when there is cynicism similar to that in 1968.

Bernie Sanders is highly unlikely to have any real opportunity to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016, but he can push Hillary Clinton to the left in ways that will benefit her and the nation, and help to lead to Democratic control of the Presidency and the US Senate, and gains in the House of Representatives.

Bernie Sanders can be the conscience of the nation, appealing to our better side and instincts, something sorely needed in a time of many people no longer motivated to get involved in politics. It is likely that he will have many people, who never had an interest in government, suddenly be galvanized into action, which is all to the good for the nation and its future!

Climate Change Seen As Essential Issue By Military, Intelligence, And Security! So Climate Change Deniers Must Be Confronted And Defeated!

There is more growing evidence of a dangerous trend on climate change, with 14 of the last 15 years the warmest on record; with the melting of the icebergs in the Arctic; and the growing flooding issue affecting the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Additionally, there are tons of evidence of climate change worldwide in all kinds of ways.

And yet the climate change deniers, led by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and others in Congress, claim that there is absolutely no evidence, and that nothing needs to be done.

President Barack Obama has attempted to draw attention to this crucial issue, with little success.

And yet, we have military leaders; we have those in the intelligence community; and we have those involved in our national security apparatus, who are only too aware of the realities and challenges of climate change, with the naval base in Virginia, Norfolk Naval Station, one clear example of many of the future dangers to our national security.

So these communities—military, intelligence, security—must continue to lead the fight as this “ostrich in the sand” mentality will undermine the future of America, if we continue to allow these deniers the power and influence that they possess!

Jewish American Heritage Month And Barack Obama Commitment To The Jewish Community And To Israel

President Barack Obama gave a brilliant speech this week at a Washington DC synagogue, commemorating Jewish American Heritage Month.

Obama, an accomplished orator, celebrated the Jewish American influence on American history and culture; reminded us that he has hosted Passover Seders every year at the White House; and made clear his total commitment to the survival and stability of Israel.

This comes at a time when there has been debate and conflict about the difficulties between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is openly supportive of the Republican Party, and allowed himself to be used by Speaker of the House John Boehner before the Israeli parliamentary elections. Netanyahu should not have come to the US for a Congressional visit without the approval and support of the President, and John Boehner purposely set up the situation, which dramatized the personal animuus between him and the President, and Netanyahu and the President.

But despite these differences, Obama made clear that the stalwart support for Israel, no matter who leads the government, and the continued employment of the IRON DOME security system, shows that personal differences will NOT stand in the way of protection of Israel.

But at the same time, Obama continues to push the idea of two states in the area, Israeli and Palestinian, and the need for dialogue and progress on the issue of recognition, and limitation of new settlements in the West Bank.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is active in undermining Obama, and the Presidential campaign will sharpen differences, but the Jewish people in America, by about 65 percent, KNOW that Obama will do nothing to harm Israel, and that Israel has our back in any crisis or emergency, as always since the founding of the Jewish state in 1948.

Decline Of Religiosity In America A Sign Of The Future In America

In the past few decades, we have seen the deleterious influence of the Christian Right in America, promoted in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

They and other preachers have utilized their influence to attempt to dominate American politics, and promote a right wing agenda that promotes intolerance and hate.

This includes opposition to women’s rights to control their own bodies (misogyny); opposition to gay rights and gay marriage; the repudiation of science for the teachings of the Bible; the rewriting of American history to make it seem that the Founding Fathers wanted a national religion and a theocracy to govern us; advocacy of war overseas against Islamic civilization; promotion of nativism on the issue of immigration; belief that school prayer will somehow change America in their direction; and attempts to legislate morality limits through control of government.

Originally known as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, many of these preachers have become super rich and gained the following of millions who have stopped using their brains, and just accept the unethical, hypocritical utterances of charismatic figures.

Despite this, there is now evidence that more Americans, particularly the young and disaffected, have abandoned organized religion and its narrow minded tenets. The Pew Research Center describes this group as the “Nones”, and they are 22.8 percent of US adults, up from 16.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, those who identify as Christian have declined nationally from 78 to 71 percent, including not only evangelicals but also Catholics and mainline Protestants and Mormons. There has also been growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant sects, and the Mormon Church.

The “Nones” outnumber Catholics (20.8 percent) and mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), demonstrating a constant decline in adults who identify as being Christians. “Nones” include those who have no religious affiliation, as well as those who say they are Atheists and Agnostics.

Evangelical Protestants still are the largest group at 25.8 percent, but they have declined, and it is clear that the “Nones” will eventually surpass them in the adult population of America over the next couple of decades, as many of the Evangelicals are older and will die off over time, as young Americans reject their divisive ideology!

Martin O’Malley Is Ready To Enter Presidential Race, Could Be Major Democratic Challenger To Hillary Clinton

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who also served as Baltimore Mayor, seems, finally, ready to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination, with indications that he will announce before the month of May comes to an end.

O’Malley, regarded as one of the best Governors in the entire nation, has been holding back, having been a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the past, and groomed by them to become an important Democratic leader.

But O’Malley senses that Hillary Clinton has major issues that will cause troubles for the Democrats, and that, at the least, she needs a major challenge to improve her ability, if possible, to overcome the controversies through having to explain herself and communicate better than she has been doing so far.

No one is entitled to a coronation, and it is a horrible form of democracy to have anyone who is not President already, to be considered a shoo-in with no one willing to take on the task to make that person work for the job.

O’Malley may not succeed in his challenge, but could, by making himself known,and making Hillary work for her nomination, become her Vice Presidential choice.

And even if that does not happen, the old saying holds: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

Divorce And The Presidency: Adlai Stevenson To The Present

The news of the death of Happy Rockefeller, the second wife and widow of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, brings to mind the issue of “domestic bliss” or the lack of it in our politicians, past and present.

Rockefeller was thought to be the leading Republican candidate for President in 1964, but when he divorced his first wife and married his second wife, his chances for the nomination evaporated very quickly.

Only Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, had been a nominee and been divorced before Rockefeller’s situation came along a decade later.

This did not mean that there were never liaisons and love triangles before, as Warren G. Harding had been cheating on his wife, but never had thought of divorce.

And Franklin D. Roosevelt had stayed with Eleanor Roosevelt, knowing that if he divorced her, his chances for a political career were over.

There was plenty of sexual “hanky panky” throughout American history, without any thought of divorce, including, besides Harding and FDR the following: Franklin Pierce, James A. Garfield, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and others.

But none of them ever considered divorce seriously, and Stevenson was hurt by his divorce, as was Rockefeller.

But that changed when Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, and had been divorced more than 30 years earlier.

And since Reagan, we have had Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain, all divorced, but nominated by their parties, although no other divorced person has been elected President.

So divorce, so common in politics now, is no longer an issue, as it was throughout our history!

Former Senator Russ Feingold, In LaFollette Progressive Tradition, Attempting Return To Senate In 2016 Election!

Wisconsin, the home of LaFollette progressivism a century ago, and the home of many progressive leaders since “Fighting Bob” LaFollette became the most prominent progressive in America, has had difficult times recently with the election of Scott Walker as Governor and Ron Johnson as Senator, defeating Senator Russ Feingold, one of the finest public servants ever to grace Wisconsin government and the US Senate, in the 2010 midterm elections.

Between Congressman Paul Ryan being the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012 and being elevated to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman in 2015; and Governor Walker hoping to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016; along with the backward, regressive record of Senator Johnson, Wisconsin has been dealt a terrible hand, and it is time to move to return Wisconsin to its proud progressive tradition!

That can be accomplished by working to prevent Scott Walker from being the GOP Presidential nominee, and by bringing Russ Feingold back to the US Senate, kicking Ron Johnson out!

There is great hope for change, now that Feingold has decided to attempt a return to his Senate seat, which he honored with an outstanding record from 1993-2011!

Feingold can be part of the mission of the Democrats to return to control of the US Senate in the 2016 Congressional elections. He has been one of the most outstanding members of the US Senate in the past two decades, and his defeat was a major blow that helped to undermine any chance of Wisconsin continuing its traditional role as a state which led the nation in so many ways!

Many Republican Presidential Possibilities Are Totally Delusional, And Need To Drop Out Or Not Enter, As They Are Harming The GOP!

Face the facts: Many of the Republican Presidential possibilities are totally delusional, and have no chance to be the Republican nominee or President of the United States!

They need to get out of the race, or not enter, as they are harming the GOP, and making the party the laughing stock of the nation and of the party’s history!

Those announced candidates who need to drop out are: Carly Fiorina and Dr. Benjamin Carson, who together have ZERO government experience, and we are not about to elect a President who has no concept of government, other than what he or she reads in the newspapers or sees on cable. Being a corporate leader or a medical doctor, with no other experience, is disqualifying on its head!

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has gone out of his way to divide the American people and promote hate in the name of religion, and has no chance to win a national election.

The following unannounced possible Presidential candidates also need to decide NOT to enter the race:

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who have governed their states in a horrific and corrupt manner, undermining the needs of the population of their states, with Perry indicted and Christie facing the threat of an indictment.

Businessman Donald Trump, who has no ability to govern, again having never served in government, and whose mouth gets him into trouble daily.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who also offers nothing positive to the race except his own nuttiness and divisiveness, and has zero chance to be the nominee.

United States Senators may be loony and extreme, but they do less harm than Governors who have failed their state populations and led corrupt governments, as is the case with Jindal, Christie and Perry.

So who is left in the race who seems legitimate to run, although most will never win a national election?

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; Senator Marco Rubio of Florida; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Ohio Governor John Kasich; and for good measure although it seems he will not run, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman!

This makes for a reasonable number of candidates as seven to eight who have serious potential, and elimination of eight others who are going nowhere in the Presidential race, and should stop wasting our time.

And anyone else, such as Indiana Governor Mike Pence and former New York Governor George Pataki–just forget it! Do not waste our time and yours!