The Moment Has Come For Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse: Put Up Or Shut Up, And Be Never Believed Again!

There are four Republican Senators who are drawing all the attention on the issue of Brett Kavanaugh:

Jeff Flake of Arizona

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

It is these four who will decide if Kavanaugh ends up on the Supreme Court, and besmirches the reputation of the Court.

Kavanaugh on the Court will never be accepted as legitimate by half the nation, particularly after he lost his temper and became partisan, worrying Court watchers that he would not recuse himself on cases involving left wing issues and Democrats, including anyone or anything that might show up in the Court regarding Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Kavanaugh lacks the judicial temperament, and self destructed in that rampage a week ago, and it is like an egg that has been broken, and it cannot be put back together again, even if he were to apologize.

It would paralyze the Court, or cause great controversy on many Supreme Court cases that will be divisive enough without his outburst.

So it is up to these four Senators to do what is right, even if it affects the long term career of Collins, Murkowski, and Sasse, with Flake retiring from the Senate.

The first and the third face election in 2020, and Murkowski in 2022.

Sasse may also plan to run for President, and it would be good if he demonstrated independence from Trump.

The two women want abortion to survive, but to believe Kavanaugh will not work to destroy Roe V. Wade, is to be naive.

So it is now that true “Profiles in Courage” are needed, as written about by John F. Kennedy in 1956.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

A Way To Promote End Of Political Polarization: Nominate Merrick Garland A Justice Of The Supreme Court

Assuming that the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court fails to gain a majority of the US Senate, the future of the Court and its reputation remains at stake.

One way to resolve it is for both Republicans and Democrats to work toward the end of polarization, and call upon President Donald Trump to nominate Merrick Garland to the empty seat on the Supreme Court, three years after he was summarily dismissed and ignored by the Republicans, when President Barack Obama nominated him to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

Merrick Garland was seen by Obama as a compromise choice, whom the Republicans would accept, as he is seen as a moderate, and has a distinguished background as the Chief Judge of the US Court Of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the highest court next to the Supreme Court.

Garland is technically the “boss” of Brett Kavanaugh, and also was of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and both of them have always been very positive in their views of Garland.

Being in his mid 60s. Garland would serve far less than the theoretical 30 years that Gorsuch might serve, and that Kananaugh might serve if he was confirmed.

Garland is perfectly qualified to keep the Court balanced, and would likely replace Anthony Kennedy as the “swing vote” on the Court, and would prevent the kind of polarization represented by an extreme right wing choice for the Supreme Court, keeping it as four liberals, four conservatives, and Garland as the crucial vote, sometimes siding with one or the other side, as Anthony Kennedy did, and earlier, Sandra Day O’Connor did.

Why could not the two parties agree to a truce, to work toward cooperation, and return the US Senate to what it was under Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan, when Senator Everett Dirksen worked with LBJ, and Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill did with Reagan, working across the aisle on many matters?

It is proper that Merrick Garland be put on the Court, as a distinguished, and accomplished man, who deserves, belatedly, three years late, to give his service to our nation’s highest Court.

One Term Presidents Who Lose Reelection Reassessed

The historical image of One Term Presidents is that it is the worst thing imaginable to lose reelection, and that their historical image is damaged.

Actually, though, it could be argued that a one term Presidency often is a blessing in disguise in the long run.

Let’s examine what happened to the lives of Presidents defeated for a second term.

John Adams lost reelection to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, but went on to live another 25 years, see his son John Quincy Adams be elected and inaugurated President, and die at the age of 90 years and seven months, the all time record until the 21st century, when four other Presidents surpassed him in age.

John Quincy Adams lost reelection to Andrew Jackson in 1828, but went on to live another 19 years, and be elected to nine terms as a Congressman from Massachusetts, engaged in the fight against slavery as the only President elected by popular vote to an elected office after being President.

Martin Van Buren lost reelection to William Henry Harrison in 1840, but went on to live another 21 years, and be the Presidential nominee of the Free Soil Party in 1848, winning about 10 percent of the national popular vote, the first such third party to have an impact on a national election.

Grover Cleveland lost reelection to Benjamin Harrison in 1888, but came back to the White House by election in 1892, and later served on the Princeton University Board of Trustees after his retirement.

William Howard Taft lost reelection to Woodrow Wilson in 1912, but went on to become the only President also to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1921-1930.

Herbert Hoover lost reelection to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, but went on to the longest retirement of more than 31 years, only surpassed by Jimmy Carter in 2012, and Hoover having growing respect for his post Presidential activities, and dying at the age of 90 in 1964, only five months less lifespan than John Adams, and the second President to reach that age.

Gerald Ford lost election to Jimmy Carter in 1976, after succeeding Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment, but went on to growing recognition and respect in his nearly 30 years after his Presidency, setting the record for longevity until 2018, dying at the age of 93 and five months.

Jimmy Carter lost reelection to Ronald Reagan in 1980, but went on to become the most outstanding former President in his activities and commitments to public service, and has had the longest retirement of any President, nearly 38 years, and has just reached the age of 94, being 111 days younger than George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, but went on to see his son, George W. Bush be inaugurated and serve two terms in the Presidency, and growing respect as he set the all time record of age 94 in June 2018.

Respect And Applause On Jimmy Carter’s 94th Birthday: A Treasure For The Nation

Former President Jimmy Carter has reached his 94th birthday today, and that is an event which should engender respect and applause, that we have been graced with his long life, only matched by former President George H. W. Bush on June 12 of this year.

Jimmy Carter has been out of office nearly 38 years, an all time record, and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, is still doing well as he nears 91 in early January.

Carter’s Presidency was controversial, due to the Iran Hostage Crisis; high inflation after the second Arab oil embargo of 1978-1979; and the Cuban Mariel Boatlift to Miami, Florida.

But Carter will always be remembered for the 40 year success of the Camp David Accords, the agreement of Israel and Egypt, to establish diplomatic relations, the first such agreement between any Arab nation and the Jewish state.

Carter is also remembered for the Panama Canal Treaty; the establishment of diplomatic relations with China; his promotion of Human Rights; his establishment of three new cabinet agencies (Education, Health and Human Services, Energy); and his great promotion of environmental protection, making him the third most accomplished in that field, after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and more recently challenged by Barack Obama.

He and his wife, Rosalyn, are on the road to being the longest Presidential marriage about a year from now, when they would surpass the length of marriage of George H. W. and his wife Barbara Bush. By that time a year from now, the Carters would be 95 and 91 years of age.

Let us hope that the Carters and Walter Mondale continue to live on, and grace us by their presence.

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

Christine Blasey Ford Spoke For All Women, And Men, Who Have Been Sexually Abused, And Brett Kavanaugh Proved He Is Unfit For Supreme Court

The testimony of Christine Blasey Ford was gripping and convincing, and she proved to be so genuine that even Republicans avoided attacking her, and Donald Trump stated words of praise for her performance.

At the same time, Republicans and Donald Trump called for moving forward on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, until two courageous women confronted Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator, and convinced him to call for time out, and an FBI investigation to be conducted, which now is moving forward.

Christine Blasey Ford was articulate, and her education and career as a college professor of psychology gave her the ability to overcome her nervousness at speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She knows how to speak, how to deliver ideas and points, but even this professor, the author and blogger, as much as he can speak before hundreds of people, wonders if he could do as fine a performance if he had to face a Senate committee.

Imagine if Christine Blasey Ford was NOT a professor, but rather one of millions of ordinary women, not educated, not professional, not having the kind of family and moral support that she had.

Imagine if it had been a poor, minority woman, someone not good at expressing herself, or had been a man of similar lack of education and speaking ability and economic station, who had been abused as boys and men also are, and terrified to speak out, even including those who are gay or lesbian, and suffer sexual abuse every day, and yet remain silent.

Those people, men and women, who dispute CHristine Blasey Ford for waiting so many years, look at the case of Bill Cosby, or look at the cases of the men abused by the Catholic Church over decades, or look at the women abused by their mother’s boyfriends or their stepfathers, which happens so often after failed marriages.

Those men and women who have no heart, no concern, and always back white male privilege, and powerful male privilege, reveal themselves for what they are: despicable, disgraceful human beings who have no compassion, no empathy, no concern for anyone unless they are wealthy, white males, and whose wives who go along with them, reveal they have no minds of their own, and are “Stepford Wives”, who do not realize they are being manipulated by their dominant husbands who most likely are cheating on them. There is so much domestic abuse that never is reported, or is overlooked historically by legal authorities, when it is reported by courageous victims.

Brett Kavanaugh proved in his tirade against Democrats and Senators on the Judiciary Committee, that he is unfit for a lifetime position on the Supreme Court, and that he is too partisan and too supportive of Donald Trump, to be an objective, open minded member of the high Court, His drinking problem is a severe one, and he is too cocky, and self serving, much like Donald Trump, to have so much power and authority over Constitutional law for the next thirty to forty years. His performance was a disgrace, that should open the eyes of the eight members of the Court for lack of dignity and decency, and the American Bar Association and other groups which had endorsed him, have withdrawn their support.

It is time for decent Republicans, including Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bob Corker, and Ben Sasse to show they have guts and principle, and reject this nomination!

The 116th Congress Will Have The Most Minorities And Women In American History

The 116th Congress (2019-2020) will set a record for the most minorities and women in Congress in American history.

Right now, in the 115th Congress, racial and ethnic minorities represent more than 45 percent of House Democrats, and women make up one third of the Democrats in the chamber.

Republicans on the other hand, have very few of either group right now, and not likely to have much more representation in the next Congress.

83 House members who are minorities right now are Democrats, while only 12 are Republicans.

There are 84 Women in the House, and about two thirds are Democrats.

The Senate has 9 members who are minorities, three African American, two Asian American, and four Hispanic American. Three of the nine (Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio) are Republicans, while the other six (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, Mazie Hirono, Bob Menendez, Catherine Cortez Masto) are Democrats.

There are 23 women in the Senate, with 6 being Republicans and 17 being Democrats.

America will have a much more representative Congress, not just a typical white male dominance as was the case in most of American history.

The Brett Kavanaugh Debacle Will Accelerate A “Blue Wave” And A “Pink Wave”, Which Will Transform American Politics

I am writing this entry after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has gone before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, September 27, 2018, and before Federal Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh has started his testimony on the charge of inappropriate sexual behavior toward Dr. Ford.

Dr. Ford was a very credible witness, but it will be unlikely to change any Republican votes in the Senate, which is hell bent on confirming Kavanaugh to a lifetime position on the high Court, despite many doubts about his honesty and veracity.

In any case, no matter what happens, it is clear that this is a turning point in American politics, and that this debacle will accelerate a “Blue Wave”, as well as a “Pink Wave”, both of which will transform our political system.

The Republican Party has tried, under Donald Trump, to maximize their support among white males, but now they have alienated intelligent, educated white women, and unless the Russians are able to collude again in 2018, and fix the results of the midterm elections, as they did in the Presidential Election of 2016, then the Democrats will have a massive midterm election victory, and it will carry over to the 2020 Presidential election and beyond.

The Republican Party, relying on the diminishing white male population, the South, the Midwest, the Great Plains, and rural America, are going to see much of the Midwest give up on the Republicans, for many reasons, but misogyny is one of those factors.

This is indeed a major turning point in American history, and will seen as such in retrospect.

The vast majority of the American people are sick to death of misogyny, racism, nativism, and the hatred of white supremacists and their ally, Donald Trump!

Supreme Court Longevity An Issue, As Recent Justices Have Stayed Much Longer Than Average, Including Contested Nominee Clarence Thomas

In the midst of the controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is the reality of how long he might serve.

There has been a trend whereby recent Supreme Court Justices serve much longer than historically traditional.

Right now, contested Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991 despite strong testimony of Anita Hill, has served 27 years on the Court, and is already number 24 in longevity of service out of 113 members of the Court in American history. He will be number 17 in two years and number 13 in four years. In May 2028, he would break the all time record of 36 years and nearly 7 months of Justice William O. Douglas, and Thomas would be just about a month short of age 80, and can be seen as likely, if he stays healthy, to accomplish this goal.

If one just looks at the top fourth of all Supreme Court Justices in longevity, a total of 31 out of 113, all 24 years or more of service, we find the following recent Justices, all appointed since the 1950s, are on the list:

John Paul Stevens
William Brennan
William Rehnquist
Byron White
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Sandra Day O’Connor
Harry Blackmun
Stephen Breyer
Thurgood Marshall

In the earlier history of the Supreme Court, the average length of service was about 15 years by comparison.

That is why the idea, proposed by this author two days ago, that a future Supreme Court Justice be limited to an 18 year term, allows for turnover, and prevents dominance by an ideological minority for decades, as now is threatened by Brett Kavanaugh, or another extreme right wing appointment by Donald Trump.