Barbara Mikulski

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Congratulations Are Due To Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D), Longest Serving Woman In History Of House Of Representatives!

In the midst of so much bad and unpleasant news, it is nice to stop for one day, one moment, and speak about and write about a true public servant, who has more than met her responsibilities.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, Ohio, a Democrat, is to become the longest serving woman ever to serve in the House of Representatives on Sunday, after 35 years and 2 months of service, having been in Congress since January 1983.

It is not just her longevity, but her dedication and contributions to the House of Representatives that must be admired and applauded.

It is Kaptur who pushed the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, a wonderful tribute to our millions of veterans who served in that most critical war against Fascism.

She is a very liberal Democrat, who supported Bernie Sanders, and refused to endorse Hillary Clinton, and in 1996, Ross Perot asked her to be his running mate for Vice President, which she turned down. She opposed the bailout of the banks after the emergence of the Great Recession in 2008, and was against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Since she is only 71, she might last in Congress another decade, and all she would need to do to be the longest serving woman in Congressional history is serve about five more years, in order to surpass Congresswoman and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, now retired, the longest serving woman Senator at 30 years, and ten previous years as a member of the House of Representatives.

Joe Trippi, Campaign Manager For Many Democrats, Able To Promote Great Victory For Doug Jones In Alabama, A Turning Point For 2018

One of the key figures who brought about the election of Doug Jones in Alabama was his masterful campaign manager, Joe Trippi.

Trippi managed to run a campaign that was brilliant in execution.

Trippi is well versed in Democratic campaigns for office, not successful on a regular basis as with Jones, but he is well regarded for his campaign strategies.

Among those he assisted in various campaigns for public office are:

Minnesota Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale and his Presidential campaign in 1984.

Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and his Presidential campaign in 1980.

Colorado Senator Gary Hart and his Presidential campaign in 1988.

California Governor Jerry Brown and his Presidential campaign in 1992 and gubernatorial campaign in 2010.

North Carolina Senator John Edwards and his 2008 Presidential campaign.

Missouri House Minority Leader and Congressman Dick Gephardt and his Presidential campaign in 1988 after Gary Hart dropped out.

Trippi also was campaign manager for Vermont Governor and 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Additionally, he assisted Senate elections of California Senator Alan Cranston, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.

Hopefully, the Doug Jones election in a “Red” state will be a turning point nationwide in the midterm Congressional Elections of 2018.

Potential To Add Seven Democratic Women Senators In November Races

The potential exists to add seven Democratic women to the US Senate, and replace one Democratic woman with another Democratic woman this November.

Senator Barbara Boxer of California is retiring, and Kamala Harris is running to replace her, although her opponent, also a Democrat, is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. So no matter what happens, a Democratic woman in the Senate from California is being replaced by a woman from the Democratic Party.

Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire, is trying to defeat another woman, Republican Kelly Ayotte, for her Senate seat, and has a good chance of winning

Also, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is running to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but is in a tough race, that may be the only Democratic seat in danger, against Republican nominee Joe Heck.

Tammy Duckworth is running for the Illinois Senate seat held by Republican Mark Kirk, and is favored to win.

Katie McGinty is running in Pennsylvania against Republican Pat Toomey, a race seen as very close.

Deborah Ross is running in North Carolina against Republican Richard Burr, another close race.

Ann Kirkpatrick is in a very competitive race in Arizona against well known Republican Senator John McCain.

Finally, Patty Judge is running in Iowa to replace Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a tough fight.

There are 20 women in the US Senate now, 14 Democrats and 6 Republicans. One woman, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, will be replaced by a man, Chris Van Hollen. And Kelly Ayotte could be the one Republican woman who leaves the Senate if she loses to Maggie Hassan.

So the end result could be 5 Republican women and a grand total of 20 Democrats if all the women listed above were to win.

That is certainly unlikely to happen, but if it did, we would have the highest number of women Senators in any Congress in American history—25!

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

The Future Of The Democratic Party: Younger Liberals In The US Senate

When one sees that Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, California Senator Barbara Boxer, and Nevada Senator Harry Reid are retiring in 2016, and know that other older Senate Democrats have limited time left in the Senate, it makes it clear that it is time to examine who among the “younger” generation of liberal Senate Democrats may be perceived as the future of the Democrats beyond Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Even if Hillary Clinton becomes President, where is the hope for liberal Democrats in the future, as there are very few Democratic governors. The “youth” movement in the Democratic Party is therefore in the hands of the following younger liberal Senate Democrats:

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (41)
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz (42)
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (45)
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (48)
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (50)
Delaware Senator Christopher Coons (51)
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (53)
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (54)
Michigan Senator Gary Peters (56)
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (57)
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (58)
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (59)

These are the present Democratic hopes for the future, to make an impact on the level of Mikulski, Boxer, Reid, along with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, California Senator Diane Feinstein, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Washington Senator Patty Murray, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Of course, more liberal Senate Democrats yet unknown could be elected in 2016, including Kamala Harris in California and Patrick Murphy in Florida, and hopefully, the Democrats will take back control of the United States Senate, and some new Democratic governors might be elected, assuming a coattail effect of the candidacy of the Democratic nominee in the Electoral College, still highly likely!

Classy Senator Barbara Mikulski Of Maryland To Retire After Longest Service Of Any Woman In Congressional History!

A true giant of the US Senate, willing to fight for her liberal beliefs over 40 years, Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, has announced her retirement in 2016, joining another outstanding woman Senator, Barbara Boxer of California, in choosing to retire.

Mikulski will have served five terms, 30 years in the Senate, the all time record, and also served ten years in the House, making her 40 years an all time record for women in Congress. She surpassed the 35 years of Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, Republican of Massachusetts, who served from 1925 to 1960 in the House of Representatives.

Along the way, Mikulski has “raised hell”, and always been there for her constituents, the average people of her state of Maryland, fighting the good fight as a leading progressive on all issues. She began her career as a community organizer, the same activity that Barack Obama was engaged in, and often ridiculed, which is horrible, as community organizers work with the poor. Why should anyone deplore such people, who truly commit themselves to those less fortunate? And yet, we live in a nation in 2015 where this is seen as a negative, rather than the positive impact that it has on those not privileged in our society!

The likelihood is that former Governor Martin O’Malley, who wants to be President, but has almost no chance to seek it now with Hillary Clinton far ahead in all polls and O’Malley hardly registering at all in the polls, will seek to go to the Senate. However, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Elijah Cummings, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards are likely to compete for the seat as well, with the latter two being African Americans.

The Ten Most Heroic Members Of The Senate: Committed To Reform And Decency!

The US Senate is an exasperating legislative body, very slow to take action, and having too many members who cause one to roll his or her eyes and to sigh!

But it has its heroes and heroines, those members one knows are truly committed to reform and decency, and care about the middle class and the poor.

The “Honor Roll” of its ten most heroic members would include by last name alphabetical order the following, all Democrats:

Barbara Boxer of California
Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Chris Coons of Delaware
Al Franken of Minnesota
Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
Ron Wyden of Oregon

The “Honorable Mention” list of five other Senators would include four Democrats and one Republican:

Tom Harkin of Iowa
Patrick Leahy of Vermont
Jeff Merkley of Oregon
Barbara Mikulski of Maryland
Susan Collins of Maine (the only Republican)

The author welcomes commentary on these selections!

The Most Women Ever As Members Of The 113th Congress!

In the new 113th Congress, there will be an all time record of participation by women.

There will be 78 Congresswomen and 20 women Senators, for an all time high of 98.

So women will represent 98 seats, while men will have 437, still more than 80 percent of the membership.

But women will now have much more influence, including some committee chairmanships in the Senate by Democrats including Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Diane Feinstein of California, and Barbara Boxer of California, and with Maine Senator Susan Collins being the most powerful Republican woman in the minority, due to seniority.

The number of women in the Congress is likely to continue to increase dramatically in future years, and that is all to the good for the future of American democracy!

Longevity Of Senator Barbara Mikulski And Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur Celebrated!

Women’s role in politics has grown tremendously in recent years, and today we celebrate Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, Ohio, both of whom have set records for longevity.

Senator Mikulski already had passed former Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine in Senate longevity a few months ago, upon beginning her fifth term in the Senate. But now, just today, she has become the longest serving woman in Congressional history, as she has now served more than 35 years in both houses of Congress, with 12 years in the House of Representatives, and now more than 24 years in the US Senate. She, therefore, has surpassed Republican Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachuetts who served nearly 36 years in the House from 1925-1960!

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur has served longer than any woman in the history of the House of Representatives, with nearly 30 years service, except for Rogers. She is also tied for fourth longest serving woman in Congress with California Senator Barbara Boxer, behind Mikulski, Rogers, and Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, who has announced her retirement at the end of this year.

All of these women–Mikulski, Rogers, Kaptur, Boxer, and Snowe, as well as Smith, are testimonials to the growing role and influence of women in Congress, with only Rogers and Smith, from an entirely different era and Republican Party, being a non Democrat!