Archive for November, 2012
If UN Ambassador Susan Rice is chosen to be Secretary of State, with the Libya controversy still boiling, due to Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and Susan Collins having problems with her, Barack Obama could have a major headache at a time when he needs to choose his battles.
But if Obama decided to pick John Kerry instead, it will look as if he is caving in to GOP opposition, particularly after his very strong defense of Rice in a press conference.
So Obama has pluses and minuses in this Susan Rice matter, and it will be interesting to see what path he takes.
The possibility of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry becoming Barack Obama’s Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense creates new problems for the Democrats in the US Senate.
The Democrats gained two seats in the recent elections, and would hate to lose one of those seats, which could happen if Kerry resigned from the Senate, and in theory, gave soon to be former Republican Senator Scott Brown a chance to vie for his seat in a special election, which is how he won the seat of Senator Ted Kennedy in 2010.
But the Democrats have two potential nominees to run against Brown, should Kerry go to the Presidential Cabinet.
One is Governor Deval Patrick, very popular in his second term, and someone who might like to be a United States Senator, and might even have Presidential ambitions. The second popularly elected African American Governor, he would become the seventh African American Senator, and the fifth by popular election.
But also, believe it or not, the new Congressman replacing retiring Representative Barney Frank is Joseph Kennedy III, the son of former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, and the grandson of Robert Kennedy.
While he only takes the oath of office in January, the new young (32) Congressman with the famous last name could be the choice of the voters in the primary, bringing back a Kennedy to the US Senate.
While he has no real experience to speak of, young Joe could follow in the model of his great uncle, Ted Kennedy, who came to the Senate at age 30 untested, but ended up having a long, distinguished career of 47 years before his death in 2009.
Certainly, a Brown-Kennedy or a Brown-Patrick race would draw a lot of interest, and the odds of the seat of John Kerry remaining Democratic would be quite high, since Brown did poorly in the race against Elizabeth Warren, and has minimum funds left for another race in heavily Democratic Massachusetts.
It would be the first interesting political race of 2013!
Vice President Joe Biden’s Eulogy Of New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman: A Mirror Image In So Many Ways!
For once, many members of the US Senate, who these days are at odds much of the time, got together today to eulogize New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman, a reputable, decent moderate conservative Republican, who served from 1980 to 1993, and passed away earlier this month at age 82.
Rudman was always a person who was genuine, decent, caring, and willing to cross the aisle in a compromising manner without giving up his principles. Rudman often bemoaned the way the Senate has become in the nearly twenty years since he left the upper body..
Rudman brought up the importance of fiscal sanity, and came across as a man of principle, concerned about the growing national debt, even back in his time in office, when the Reagan Presidency tripled the national debt.
Biden’s eulogy was heartfelt, describing Rudman as a man who really cared, was sincere and genuine, very approachable, a person who never forgot where he came from, and always treated ordinary Americans with dignity and respect.
Watching that eulogy by Biden reminded me that these descriptive characterizations of Rudman also fit Biden perfectly!
That is the reason why this author has such admiration for Joe Biden, because he is REAL and a GOOD GUY in every conceivable way!
The 112th Congress is setting records for being the most ineffective, least productive, Congress since World War II!
The last time this situation existed was the Republican 80th Congress of 1947-48, but even they accomplished more than this present, pitiful Congress!
Only 91 bills have passed in 2012, added to 60 for 2011, so a low total of 151 is truly an embarrassment!
Comparing this to the 111th Congress of 2009-2010, we find that Congress passed 125 laws in 2009, and 258 in 2010, for a grand total of 383.
So two and a half times as many bills were passed in 2009-2010, as compared to 2011-2012.
Usually, 6-10 percent of bills introduced pass into law, but this Congress it is a mere 2 percent!
This is partly due to the impact of the Tea Party Movement, which has caused the complete loss of reputation of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives.
No wonder the public opinion rating of Congress is ten percent in the last polling!
As the vote count continues, Barack Obama’s reelection victory becomes ever more impressive, as now he has a 4.5 million vote lead, and 50.9 percent of the vote, as compared to Mitt Romney’s 47.4 percent–3.5 percent more.
Obama has passed the George W. Bush totals against John Kerry in 2004–when Bush received 50.7 percent of the vote, and Kerry had 48.3 percent–Bush having 2.4 percent more. And Bush’s popular vote lead was only about 3 million over Kerry.
So Democrats and Barack Obama have a lot to be proud of, with Obama’s two victories having the highest popular vote percentage of the last six Presidential elections, remembering that Bill Clinton never won a majority of the popular vote in 1992 or 1996, and that Bush did not even win the popular vote against Al Gore in 2000.
Former President Jimmy Carter has been criticized by many people for his outspokenness on many issues, and his willingness to become involved in controversy.
He has been much pilloried and ridiculed by Republicans, who have made him out to be the worst President of the past half century, if not more.
But, of course, this is all propaganda, as this man, who is 88 years old, and is still in excellent physical and mental health, continues to amaze with his brilliant mind, and his commitment to his fellow man and woman.
What else but admiration can be felt for a man of religious values, who follows through, rather than just speak rhetoric and be a total hypocrite, as so many people who “claim” to be religious, do so on a regular basis.
Instead of sowing hate and division, Jimmy Carter puts his hands on projects building Habitat For Humanity homes, right now engaged in starting the rebuilding of Haiti, a country which desperately needs more Americans to volunteer to help.
Here is an 88 year old man, who is not giving directions to others, but is actually banging nails and doing other carpentry work, not putting on a front that he is “above” being a workman on projects, by the fact that he was the 39th President of the United States!
This man is much to be admired, as a national treasure, as a man of true decency and humanity, who has devoted the longest post Presidency of American history to good deeds for all of mankind!
The Susan Rice Controversy: Much Ado Over Nothing, And Making John McCain, Lindsey Graham And Kelly Ayotte Look Ridiculous!
The continuing controversy over UN Ambassador Susan Rice and her statements on Sunday talk shows about the events in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on September 11, has been blown so out of proportion that it borders on the ridiculous at this point!
A Fox News Channel and Mitt Romney inspired incident, it has led Senator John McCain to look like a total fool; Senator Lindsey Graham to look as if he is seeking for an issue to hold off Tea Party opposition to his reelection in South Carolina in 2014; and Senator Kelly Ayotte to come across as a freshman woman Senator who is hitching on the issue to make herself noticed, but in an embarrassing way that will trivialize her hope to become a national figure, after she was passed over by Mitt Romney to be his running mate for Vice President. Meanwhile, Senator Joe Lieberman, usually part of the “gang of three”, but now retiring, has decided NOT to join this cry for Rice’s head, showing some real intelligence as he leaves the Senate, but with Ayotte replacing him, to her degradation!
For anyone to be held so accountable for what he or she says on Sunday talk shows as Susan Rice is being held, is totally off the wall, and by that standard, Dick Cheney would have been impeached and removed from the Vice Presidency; Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell would have been drummed out of office, or in the case of Rice, denied the chance to be Secretary of State; and McCain and Graham themselves would be forced out of the Senate for past incorrect, inaccurate, or stupid comments!
Susan Rice is perfectly qualified to be Secretary of State, and instead has been pilloried in a manner unbecoming her distinction, her education and academic accomplishments, and her distinguished public career. Her education and brilliance, when compared to the measly such accomplishments of McCain, Graham, and Ayotte, makes them all look more like the jealous competitors for academic excellence who decide to downgrade their successful competitor by spreading innuendo, rumors, character assassination, and ridicule, because they have nothing else to offer.
All three Senators should apologize profusely to Susan Rice, stop their bull “feathers”, and get down to serious business serving their constituents, and stop seeking the limelight. And if Kelly Ayotte, the only one with serious long term potential, wishes to be seen seriously, she had better abandon these two Senators past their prime, and stake out her own identity, or become totally irrelevant, and a “joke” in Senate circles!
Advice To Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Leave Chris Christie Alone, And Run Instead For US Senate In 2014!
With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announcing for reelection, shortly after the Hurricane Sandy emergency led to a 72 percent rating in a Quinnipiac Poll among New Jersey voters today, it is clear the Newark Mayor Cory Booker needs to face reality, and drop the thought of challenging Christie in what would be a very difficult race for Governor.
And since Christie most certainly will never be President, let him have the consolation prize of being New Jersey Governor for a second term, allowing Christie the chance to shoot off his mouth, as he is prone to do, which will only harm him with primary voters in his Republican party, and along with other factors mentioned in an earlier blog entry, will assure that he will never be President of the United States!
Meanwhile, the bright and talented Cory Booker will avoid a likely humiliating defeat, which would derail his future. Instead, he can run to replace likely retiring Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, who is the oldest Senator, and will be 90 in 2014. The likelihood that Lautenberg would run again is miniscule to zero, having already served three terms from 1982—2000, retiring, and then coming back in 2002 when a vacancy developed, and now serving again from 2002—2014, a total of thirty years service.
Booker would have a national audience as a Senator, and would be a true star, and could be the next African American Presidential candidate, or compete for that role with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick!
And face it–it is a MUCH easier job to be a United States Senator, make speeches, and not have the same accountability that a Mayor or Governor has, for such mundane matters as natural disasters, and petty local issues!
Why anyone would prefer being Governor, and in most states, having to reside in a backwater state capital, over living in Washington, DC, and having that national press constantly following you, is beyond this author’s understanding.
Booker, with his Mayoral experiences, and a career in the Senate getting national attention, would be far better for his future than wanting to be Governor of a state which is difficult to manage in good times, let alone in bad times. So let Chris Christie have his Governorship, as it would advance Cory Booker, and NOT advance Chris Christie’s Presidential ambitions!