Abortion

The Trump Juggernaut Overrunning Moderate Democrats: Between A Rock And A Hard Place!

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and moderate Senate Democrats are “between a rock and a hard place”, with the Trump juggernaut about to run them down!

There are 10 Democratic moderates who are running for reelection in states won by Donald Trump.

If they all remained loyal to their party, and IF Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski joined them, a Supreme Court pick could be stopped, but that is asking for too much to be assured.

And if they do not support the Trump nominee, it could kill their chances of reelection.

But of course, if they vote for the Trump nominee, many Democrats and moderates might decide it is not worth voting, and they will lose their elections anyway.

So what to do?

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, last year.

All three are in great danger of losing their seats, with or without the Supreme Court nominee controversy they now face.

Then we have Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, also in great danger of losing their seats.

The other five “Red State” Democrats are probably safer, and unlikely to lose their seats—Bob Casey Jr of Pennsylvania (who however is anti abortion in his background); Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Debbie Stebanow of Michigan; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; and Bill Nelson of Florida (but his seat will be the most expensive race ever, with opponent Rick Scott spending tens of millions to defeat Nelson).

So if one is to promote the left wing Democratic view, we would say to hell with these Senators, whose voting record is far from ideal, but the alternative to staying united no matter what these ten Senators decide to do on the Supreme Court nominee of Trump, is to see the Republicans gain more seats and lock up the Senate for the long haul.

That is why it seems to this blogger that to promote or expect a left wing Democrat as the Presidential nominee, while ideal in theory, is likely to kill off any chance of the Democrats winning the Presidency in 2020, after what could be a Democratic debacle in the Senate races this year.

What seems likely to happen is that the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch will vote for the Trump Supreme Court choice and will survive, and the other seven Democrats—particularly the three women—McCaskill, Stabenow and Baldwin—will vote against and yet survive as well. Casey will be conflicted but probably vote NO and survive, as well as Brown. And Tester should still be able to win another term as well.

The toughest seat to keep will be Bill Nelson in Florida, but it seems likely he will vote NO on the nominee.

So at the end, the likely vote will be 53-46, all 50 GOP Senators, including Collins and Murkowski, with the exception of the absent John McCain, and Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp, with anger and disgust by Democrats, but the only likely road to those seats being saved.

So IF all seats are saved, except possibly Florida, and then IF Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and maybe Texas are gained, the Democrats MIGHT have a 51-49 or 52-48 Democratic Senate, and the battle against Trump will have another day and more to fight, the best possible under present circumstances.

Of course, all progressives have to pray for the good health and continued life of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, to serve until 2021, a tall order, as if that does not happen, the Supreme Court is lost with a certainty until close to 2045-2050, past the lifetime of this blogger and probably all of my readers.

This is a gloomy reality, but we have to do whatever we can do to promote a Democratic majority in both houses, and accept that not all Democrats will be progressives, but will at least be of the party persuasion!

The Tough Battle Ahead On Supreme Court Replacement For Justice Anthony Kennedy

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative but moderate on such issues as gay rights and gay marriage, abortion, affirmative action, flag burning, and the use of the death penalty, leaves the Senate in a tough battle for confirmation of whoever Donald Trump appoints as his replacement.

The fair thing to do would be to postpone the appointment and confirmation hearings until after the midterm elections of 2018, just as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prevented hearings and a vote on Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, a Presidential election year. But it is clear McConnell has no such intentions to treat this situation in the same manner as he did two years ago.

So the question is whether there is any possibility of stopping a Trump appointment, and it seems pretty gloomy and very little chance to intervene and delay or prevent a confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice.

With only 49 votes, the Democrats need one or two Republicans to join them in opposition, and for all Democrats, including more moderate and conservative members of the caucus, to stay loyal, even in an election year where 10 Senators who are running for reelection are from Trump carried states.

The saddest part of all this is that now we will have FOUR Supreme Court Justices–two by George W. Bush and two by Donald Trump–selected by Presidents who massively lost the popular vote in the elections in 2000 and 2016 when the Electoral College went to them.

Six of the last seven Presidential elections have seen the popular vote won by Democrats, all but 2004 since 1992, but the power over the future of the Supreme Court has been lost for the long term, for the next 30 years, beyond the theoretical lifetime of this author and blogger, and of many people who are 40 or over right now!

America A Land Of Pro Life For Fetuses, But Not For Born Human Beings

The hypocrisy of the Pro Life movement is that they are obsessive about every fetus that is conceived being born, but once born, no concern about the quality of the length of life of human beings.

We have 13 million people now cut off from health care under Obama Care by the action of the Republican Congress in their just enacted tax cut which benefits the wealthy and corporations.

We have 8.9 million children cut off from the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) by lack of funding by the Congress. The program was created and promoted by First Lady Hillary Clinton 20 years ago.

These two actions mentioned above are a repudiation by Donald Trump and the Republican Party of programs on health care enacted into law under Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, respectively.

Additionally, we have a Congress and President who ignored the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre of 2012, where 20 children and six teachers were murdered, and on that day last week, Donald Trump had Wayne La Pierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, at the White House, an obscene action. Meanwhile, there were 33,000 gun deaths in 2016, sure to rise in 2017, and more massacres by people with firearms, so much so that it has made many such events basically ignored, unless there are a very high number of deaths, as at Las Vegas, but still no action to deal with the largest number of firearm deaths in any nation in the world.

US drug overdoses in 2016 hit an all time high as well, 63,600, and likely much higher in 2017, and nothing is being done about the opioid crisis. Opioids now kill more people annually than breast cancer, and also more than motor vehicle accidents, the peak of HIV?AIDS deaths, and total deaths in the Vietnam War.

We are a nation that has no regard for quality of life or longevity of life, only forcing women to avoid abortions whenever possible, and preventing people who are dying to have a death with dignity through assisted suicide to cut suffering.

In all cases, profits and government intrusion in our private lives are the emphasis, not protecting and promoting health of those born, who are not wealthy or privileged.

Doug Jones Vs. Roy Moore: A Chance For Democrats To Gain An Alabama Senate Seat In December

The special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Alabama Senate seat is set for December 12.

It could be a Christmas and New Year’s gift for the Democrats, if Doug Jones can win that seat from right wing extremist Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who will cause nightmares, if elected, for the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and would be more outrageous and irritating than Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Moore is supported by the Alt Right and Breitbart News, headed by Stephen Bannon, and he has extremist views about women including anti abortion advocacy, anti gay rights for gays and lesbians including marriage, anti Muslims, pro firearms including wielding his gun at a campaign rally, nonbeliever in global warming and evolution, promoter of the Barack Obama Birther Conspiracy beliefs, advocate of nativist and racist beliefs, and calls America a “Christian nation” governed by God, not by the Constitution, and insisted on a Ten Commandments Monument at the Alabama Judicial Building while he served as Chief Justice, before his removal.

Doug Jones is a former US Attorney, who pursued and prosecuted two Ku Klux Klansmen involved in the infamous Birmingham, Alabama Black Church Bombing in 1963, which killed four young African American girls, including friends of Condoleezza Rice, who lived in Birmingham and was around the age of these young girls when they were killed. Jones was able to gain convictions and imprisonment for these two individuals in 2001 and 2002, nearly four decades after the murders, a major accomplishment.

Jones has gained awards for his civil rights and environmental commitment, and would add to the possibility of a Democratic party takeover of the US Senate in the midterm 2018 elections, as ordinarily, it would seem highly unlikely that the Democrats could gain this particular Senate seat, and will have a very difficult time to gain three seats, since there are so few Republicans seeking reelection in 2018.

But, hard to believe, as outrageous as Jeff Sessions was in this Senate seat, Roy Moore would be far worse and more despicable than Sessions, so Democrats need to do everything possible to promote Doug Jones to the US Senate over the next two months.

Republican Philosophy: Every Fetus Must Be Born, But No Right To Care For Preexisting Conditions, And No Basic Right To Health Care Itself!

The Republican Party is a total disgrace in 2017.

It has allowed itself to become the party of death, not the party of life.

While adopting the extreme right wing position of being totally anti abortion, and subjecting women to the whims of religious extremists, that every fetus must be born, now the GOP has fully adopted the concept that once a fetus is born, that there is no right to care for preexisting conditions, which nearly half of Americans have in their lifetime, and no basic right to health care itself.

The party that freed the slaves, promoted racial equality, and advocated protection of the environment, now has become the party of Christian extremists and hard line Southern Confederate views, repudiating the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and many decent, principled office holders who were proud of the Republican traditions of the past 150 plus years.

Now, if you are not wealthy, to hell with your health, and if you die, such is life, and it most showed up when former one term Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, said he was not interested in having to pay more taxes to support the health care of an infant who had a need for heart surgery to survive.

What has happened to the concept of human decency, compassion, empathy, and concern for others?

What has happened to the idea that we all pay in through our taxes for the betterment of society, and if we do not end up getting back as much as we pay in, it means we have been fortunate enough not to need help from the government on the same scale as others?

What happened to the concept of religious values, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or whatever, that we are our brother’s keeper?

The Republican Party will be condemned in history for the passage in the House of Representatives yesterday of this reprehensible “tax care for the wealthy” bill, and it will NOT make it through the US Senate.

It was disgusting to see the House Republicans, led by despicable Speaker Paul Ryan, rushing to the Trump White House to celebrate the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, which, were it to become law, would insure tens of thousands of Americans, at the least, will die because they are not wealthy!

The wealthy have more than enough advantages, and do NOT need another tax cut, as it was those under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush which have obliterated much of the middle class, and accelerated the fall of millions into poverty since 1981.

The odds are heavy now that the Democrats will win at least the minimum number of seats, 24, to regain the House of Representatives majority, and even if the US Senate is not regained, it will change the playing field in 2019-2020, including the likelihood of the impeachment of demagogue Donald Trump!

For any decent human being to be a Republican in 2017, shame on you, and one can believe in karma, that you will be repaid appropriately in the next stage of your existence after your death on earth!

23 Years Since Richard Nixon’s Death, Final Total Repudiation Of His Positive Legacy In Domestic Affairs

Richard Nixon died on Earth Day 1994, at the age of 81.

He died, knowing that the Watergate and related scandals under his Presidency, would damage his reputation forever.

But Nixon also left a positive legacy, which now, a generation later, is, finally, totally repudiating his time in office.

Nixon, for all his faults, was the most “liberal” or “progressive” Republican President since Theodore Roosevelt, and no Republican President since has been anywhere near as much so.

Nixon could have prevented a lot of reforms, with his veto, but instead went along with a Democratic controlled Congress, and signed into law the following:

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Large increases in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as the Food Stamp Program.

Enactment of the Supplemental Security Income program, providing a guaranteed income for elderly and disabled citizens.

Signed into law various environmental laws, and expanded national park land protection under the Department of the Interior.

Signed into law Title IX, guaranteeing equal access and opportunity to women in all educational and recreational activities in colleges and universities and public schools.

Signed into law the addition of Affirmative Action to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for women, and ethnic minorities, in education and in employment–race, color, sex, religion, national origin.

Nixon also endorsed the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women, also backed by his successor, Gerald ford, but opposed by Ronald Reagan, and failing of being added to the Constitution during the Reagan Presidency.

Finally, one of Nixon’s four Supreme Court appointments, Justice Harry Blackmun, turned out to be a very progressive member of the Court, and was the author of the majority opinion in Roe V. Wade, the abortion case, which has continued to divide Americans 44 years later, and which the Republican Party is attempting to bring about its reversal, with one step being the addition of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Now, in 2017, President Trump and the Republican controlled 115th Congress seem to be on the road to destruction of all of these major achievements under Richard Nixon, a true travesty of justice.

We are witnessing the most reactionary, right wing extremist Congress and Presidency in American history, and progressives must fight tooth and nail to prevent this destruction of the “good side” of Richard Nixon’s legacy.

Most Significant Issue Of Entire Campaign: The Supreme Court Future And A Democratic Majority US Senate!

No more important issue is on the plate for this election year than the Supreme Court future, tied into a Democratic Majority US Senate!

The Republicans have made it clear that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, but the Republicans retain the control of the Senate, that NO Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, and in fact, not even considered in hearings.

This is totally unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to occur for the next four years, as effectively, that is destroying the whole purpose of the separation of powers and constitutional government!

The Supreme Court has been Republican majority since 1972, and finally, the tipping point to a Democratic and more progressive/liberal Court is in the offing.

Such issues as the following could end up before the Court in the next four years:

Abortion
Affirmative Action
Campaign Finance
Class Action Suits
Climate Change
Contraception
Gun Rights
Immigration Reform
LGBTQ Rights
ObamaCare
Redistricting
Unions
Voter ID Laws
Voting Rights

Mike Pence And Donald Trump: A Horrible Partnership With No Future!

The team of Mike Pence and Donald Trump is a horrible partnership with no future.

Mike Pence will not be in government after 2016, as he was not running for reelection as Governor of Indiana, and was seen as likely to lose another term, being way behind in public opinion polls, after he signed a law limiting gay rights, which had to be changed due to business and public opposition.

Also, his anti abortion views were causing greater restrictions on a woman’s right to determine her own future in Indiana, more than in many other states.

Pence is a religious right wing freak, who puts his religion before anything else, and he fails to understand that we have separation of church and state ingrained in our political system by the Founding Fathers.

He also flirted with the Tea Party Movement in Congress in his last years in the House of Representatives before running for the Indiana Governorship in 2012.

Pence is seen by many as a potential Presidential candidate in 2020 in the wake of the Donald Trump disaster, but he is no shining star for the GOP future, and if he is, somehow, the nominee, the Republican Party would end up in a massive Electoral College defeat once again.

It is also clear that Mike Pence is uncomfortable in his role as Vice Presidential running mate, and probably thought of quitting several times, when Donald Trump contradicted him, including once in the Presidential debates, and also after the sexual abuse charges leveled against Trump by 10 women, and the Access Hollywood tape.

It seems he would have little impact on Donald Trump’s thinking or policies, were, God forbid, Trump to become President.

But Donald Trump has dug his own grave, and is taking Mike Pence and the Republican Party down with him!

Evan McMullin, Independent Presidential Nominee, Could Win Utah’s 6 Electoral Votes

In the midst of all of the attention paid to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein, there is actually another Presidential candidate on the ballot in eleven states, Evan McMullin, running as a conservative alternative.

McMullin is a possible winner in Utah, with its 6 electoral votes, with his Mormon heritage, and his record as Chief Policy Director for the House Republican Conference, and as a CIA Operations Officer, all by the age of 40, easily the youngest Presidential candidate in a year where three are “elderly” and Gary Johnson is 63.

In a recent poll, McMullin had 20 percent, only a few points behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and with Gary Johnson having 14 percent, so there is a real four way race in Utah, the only state that we see that situation.

McMullin is pro life on abortion matters; accepts gay marriage; is pro free trade; against mass deportation of undocumented immigrants; and supports the basics of ObamaCare, but wants to make a better system. He is critical of Donald Trump on counter terrorism measures, as he has years of experience in that area of policy making.

He could “mess up” the Electoral College, and could become the first non major party candidate to win a state’s electoral votes since George Wallace in 1968.

It is highly unlikely that if he won the state of Utah with its 6 electoral votes, that he would be the decisive factor in who wins 270 electoral votes, but in theory, he could prevent any candidate from winning the required number of electoral votes, and require the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, which has not been used since 1824, to be dusted off once again after 192 years!

If such a scenario developed, there is a slight chance that McMullin could become President, but do not bet on it by any means!

Mike Pence Another Horrible Republican VP Pick, Following Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, And Sarah Palin

The Republican Party has had a horrible history regarding Vice Presidential running mates, and twice, the nation was saddled with the choices as Vice President, making us pray for the health of the sitting President.

First, Richard Nixon selected Spiro Agnew, Governor of Maryland, who turned out to be the most worrisome VP of the 20th century, a true demagogue going after the news media and liberal critics with a vengeance,and turning out to be involved in illegal money laundering and bribery, forcing him to resign in October 1973, but saving us from an Agnew Presidency, and instead giving us Gerald Ford as the next President when Richard Nixon resigned.

Then, George H. W. Bush selected Dan Quayle, Senator of Indiana, who turned out to be a not very bright and informed Vice President, and when Bush had an atrial fibrillation, we had to worry that “Danny Boy” might succeed him. Quayle proved to be lacking in intelligence or brains.

Finally, we had John McCain select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin,who was a total nightmare and still haunts us eight years later as a true pest, who has no brains and no character at all, and yet has millions of clueless people who love this new “reality star”.

Now we have Donald Trump selecting Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who was a major supporter of the rise of the Tea Party Movement; promoted an anti gay accommodations bill, which he had to backtrack on over protests from corporations who withdrew plans for expansion in the Hoosier state; has stated his lack of belief in evolution or climate change; has come across as a Christian right wing extremist of the worst order including opposition to a women’s right to choose on abortion and refusal to accept gay rights and gay marriage; has said tobacco is not a health risk; and this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

The Republican Party has added to its history of having horrible, scary Vice Presidential nominees, and this is just another reason to fight against Donald Trump in this year’s election.