African American

The Aftermath Of The Midterm Elections: A Lot Of Positives, But Also Negatives

Now that the Midterm Elections of 2018 are over, after having time to think about the events that transpired, several conclusions are clear.

There certainly were positives, but also negatives.

The big positives were that the House of Representatives once again fell into the hands of the Democrats, after eight years in the wilderness, and Nancy Pelosi, who was an excellent Speaker from 2007-2011, is likely to become Speaker again, although there is a movement among younger and new members to have someone else as their leader, to be decided in the coming weeks.

Another big positive is the gain of a substantial number of new Governorships, including in the all important Midwest, and having a majority of governorships insures a better future for the Democratic Party when the Census of 2020 occurs, and reapportionment of seats in state legislatures and in the House of Representatives occurs in 2021 and 2022.

A third big positive is that some of the most disgraceful and despicable Republicans lost, including Scott Walker, Kris Kobach, and David Brat.

However, some major negatives stand out, and the most significant is the loss of at least two Senate seats or more, although it is also clear that the Democrats have gained at least one Senate seat in Nevada, and may win in Arizona. However, they have lost North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana, and likely, Florida,

Also, the most disappointing aspect of the election was in my state of Florida, where it looks like Governor Rick Scott is likely to defeat Senator Bill Nelson, and where right wing extremist Ron DeSantis has defeated Andrew Gillum, who would have been the first African American governor, and had developed quite a following.

Also, it seems as if Stacey Abrams, who would be the first African American female governor in American history, is likely losing the Georgia Governor race to Brian Kemp, another right wing extremist.

And Beto O’Rourke did well, but still lost to Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race.

So it is a mixed bag in regards to the results of the midterm elections.

Crucial Gubernatorial Races That Could Affect The Future In Reapportionment Of Seats In Congress And State Legislatures After 2020 Census

There are a number of crucial gubernatorial races coming up in November, which could dramatically change the future of American politics, and change the reapportionment of seats that comes about after the Census of 2020.

In Florida, Gwen Graham, the daughter of well respected former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, is now leading the Democratic primary in the polls, and she could affect the beginning of the return of Democrats to influence in the state legislature and in Congress, and is far preferable to Congressman Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, the Democrats have nominated Stacey Abrams, who has been the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, and is African American, against Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who is extreme on gun rights.

In Ohio, Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and past Attorney General and State Treasurer, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, and is challenged by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, former US Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Congressman.

In Illinois, the Democratic nominee for Governor is J B Pritzker, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, competing against incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who has had a contentious relationship with the Democratic controlled state legislature.

In California, Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against Republican John Cox, a businessman, attorney and political activist backed by Donald Trump.

In Pennsylvania, sitting Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is heavily favored to win reelection, over Republican nominee and state representative Scott Wagner.

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is challenged by former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, with Abbott strongly favored to be reelected, but thought that she would be a strong challenge to Abbott.

These seven large states in population could see six out of seven victories for the Democrats, all but Texas, in all likelihood.

With Democrats having only 16 state Governors, but 36 gubernatorial elections coming up, the odds of a majority or more of state governors being Democrats in 2019 is considered a likelihood, and would allow the Democrats to have a great influence on reapportionment and gerrymandering in the next decade.

Cory Booker And Kamala Harris Appointments To Senate Judiciary Committee A Boost To Their Predicted Presidential Candidacies In 2020

The appointment of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris to the Senate Judiciary Committee is a boost to both legislators, both considered likely Presidential candidates a year from now.

Booker is African American, and Harris is mixed race with a parent born in Jamaica and a parent born in India.

Both have exceptional credentials, with Booker having bachelors degree in political science and masters degree in Sociology from Stanford; a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in American history; and a law degree from Yale Law School. He served on the Newark City Council from 1998-2002; as Newark Mayor from 2006-2013, and has been in the US Senate since 2013. He has also served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Environment and Public Works Committee. He is an impressive orator and highly intelligent and qualified.

Kamala Harris graduated Howard University in Washington, DC, and Hasting Law School of the University of California. She worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and the City Attorney’s Office, and then was elected and served as San Francisco District Attorney from 2004-2011, followed by election and service as California Attorney General from 2011-2017, and was elected to the Senate to serve beginning in 2017. She serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs; Budget Committee; and Intelligence Committee; as well as her recant appointment to the Judiciary Committee. She is highly regarded for her oratory and intellectual brilliance.

Having had the excellent experience of Barack Obama in the Presidency, we now have the possibility of another person who is not white being a future President, and very possibly over time, both of them, with Harris being 56 and Booker 51 in 2020, so the long range potential is clearly present, if not in 2020, for a future President Booker or President Harris or both over time!

The Supreme Court Of 2014 Most Right Wing Since Early 1930s!

The Supreme Court has been controversial at different times in its history, but the present Court of 2014 is considered the most right wing Court majority since the early 1930s!

Since the Warren Court, which began in the 1950s, we have never had such conservative Justices as we have now.

Three of the present Justices are among the most conservative ever to sit on the Court, including Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Justice Samuel Alito.

If one adds former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and former Associate Justice Lewis Powell, we have the five most conservative Justice since 1953, a period of 60 years.

Not much behind is Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, both capable of surprises in their votes and rulings, but still most of the time joining Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

These seven named Justices were all picked by Republican Presidents–two by Richard Nixon; two by Ronald Reagan, plus his promotion of Rehnquist to the Chief Justiceship; one by George H. W. Bush; and two by George W. Bush.

But also, Republican Presidents have selected Justices who turned out to be quite moderate, and even sometimes liberal, including Chief Justice Earl Warren and Associate Justice William Brennan by Dwight D. Eisenhower; Chief Justice Warren Burger and Associate Justice Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush.

Since 1953, Republicans have controlled the White House for 36 years, while Democrats have had control for 25 plus years, and that has caused the right wing tilt of the Court, which could have been even more so, if not for the surprises presented by the seven “less” conservative, and some “quite liberal” Justices listed in the above paragraph!

So the Republicans have chosen 17 of the past 25 Justices since 1953, with John F. Kennedy picking two, but one (Byron White) turning out to be conservative, and Arthur Goldberg leaving the Court after only three years, due to the urging of Lyndon Johnson that he become United Nations Ambassador. Johnson selected Abe Fortas to replace Goldberg, but he stayed on the Court for only four years, and left the Court under the cloud of scandal. The first African American Justice, Thurgood Marshall, would go on to serve as a champion liberal for 24 years from 1967 to 1991.

Jimmy Carter would have no appointments to the Court in his four years in the White House, the only such situation in the 20th century, and one of only four Presidents to have had no appointments, but the only one to have a full term in the Presidency. The other three Presidents were William Henry Harrison (one month); Zachary Taylor (16 months); and Andrew Johnson (almost a complete term, but so unpopular that the Senate would not confirm any Court appointments in his time in office).

Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama has chosen Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan as his appointments, so far, on the Supreme Court. So note that out of the eight appointments by Democrats in the Presidency, three have been women; five have been Jewish; one has been African American; and one has been Puerto Rican, with only Byron White being a typical white Anglo Saxon Protestant.

The question has now arisen whether Ginsberg, and maybe even Breyer, should retire, and guarantee that Obama could replace them, with the concern that the Senate might go Republican in November, making any Court appointment nearly impossible due to gridlock and stalemate. There is also fear that were the Republicans to win the White House in 2016, which is highly unlikely, that then the Court would be ever more right wing reactionary than it already is.

It is a calculated gamble for Ginsburg and Breyer to remain on the Court for now, but it is not uncommon for Justices to retire at very advanced ages–such as Blackmun at 85 and Stevens at 90!

So do not expect that either will retire, but with a good chance of Democrats retaining the Senate majority in 2014, or regaining it on the back of the Democratic Presidential nominee’s expected major victory in 2016!

Five Years Of President Barack Obama, And Three Years To Go!

Today is Inauguration Day, if an inauguration was to take place, as it did in 2009 and 2013, for President Barack Obama. It is also, this year, the commemoration of the birth of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was actually born on January 15, but whose birthday is celebrated on the third Monday of January every year since 1986.

If Martin Luther King, Jr. were here today at age 85, he would be very proud of the performance of a man who has seen as much racial hatred and venom, if not more totally, than King faced in his short 39 years of life.

Obama has suffered an average of 30 death threats per day, over 10,000 a year, and 50,000 in five years, more than any President in American history, even likely Abraham Lincoln, who suffered the most vicious hate of any other American President.

Obama has been called a Socialist, a Communist, a radical, all terms used against King five decades ago. It was also used against Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s. He has been accused of being “unAmerican”, because he has a mission to provide equal access and opportunity, and the protection of human rights of all minority groups, women, immigrants, labor, as well as protect the environment and promote economic and social justice for the vast middle class and the poor.

If Obama were white, he would be attacked by the right wing, but not with the viciousness that he faces because he has an African American appearance, due to the genetics that made him look more black like his Kenyan father, than white, despite his white mother and the greater impact of her and her parents on his upbringing.

Barack Obama has proved to be a man of calmness, coolness, strength, confidence, class, dignity, and he has accomplished a lot more than his critics are willing to give him credit for, since they consider the fact that he breathes to be a fault in itself.

History will look kind on Barack Obama, while acknowledging his mistakes and shortcomings. which every President and every human being possesses.

Obama’s critics will look terrible, horrible, short sighted, hateful, and wrong in the long run of history, and future Americans will be appalled at the racism, nastiness, viciousness, and wishes to harm him, so common among the right wing talk shows on radio, Fox News Channel, conservative organizations, and the Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, an embarrassment to the long and proud history of Republicans in the past, who often were correct and contributory to the nation’s history.

Obama will outdo his critics, and go down as an above average President, maybe even near great, who was a path breaking President who made a dramatic difference in American history for the better!