Capitol Hill

Roy Moore, The Most Extremist Right Wing Senator In The Republican Party, And Possible Sign Of Future Turmoil In Party, If He Wins In December

Alabama Republicans last night selected former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore as their nominee to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, overcoming temporary appointed Senator Luther Strange, by a margin of 10 percent.

Although Donald Trump supported Strange, he quickly switched to backing of Moore, who faces a contest with Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee, who as US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, by appointment of Bill Clinton, was able to gain convictions of the perpetrators of the Birmingham Church bombing in 1963 of four young African American girls in 2001 and 2002, making him a hero four decades later than the crimes, but with two Ku Klux Klan members finally being dealt justice for their crimes.

But Alabama, being Alabama, is likely to elect Roy Moore to finish the remainder of the Sessions term on December 12.

Moore would be, by his own record, the most extremist right wing Senator in decades, more so than even Ted Cruz is or Jeff Sessions was, and as dangerous as Jesse Helms was for decades.

This man wants a Christian run nation, not believing in separation of church and state, a very alarming situation.

He is homophobic, Islamophobic, and racist, in his references to minority groups as “red and yellow”, and wanting to check out all Hispanics on their being documented or undocumented immigrants.

He is a Birther, as Trump was, believing that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

He was forced out twice from the Supreme Court of Alabama for installing a Ten Commandments statue, and for promoting refusal to accept the US Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, and wants homosexuality to be a crime worthy of prosecution.

He is a firebrand, who has the support of such right wing extremists as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham.

He is anti Republican Establishment, and will create trouble for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill, and will make many controversial statements.

To imagine that Sessions would have been preferable to remain as a US Senator instead of having Moore as his replacement shows just how extremist and whacko the Republican Party has become, and it encourages other Tea Party types like Moore to challenge Republican Senators for renomination in states such as Arizona, Nevada, and now Tennessee where Senator Bob Corker has decided not to run for reelection in 2018.

The Positive Contributions Of The Joe Biden Vice Presidency

Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, is leaving public life after 44 years in the federal government, 36 as a US Senator from Delaware, and 8 years as Vice President.

Joe Biden is a true national treasure, who if not for the death of his son, Beau Biden, in May 2015, might have run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might very well have defeated Hillary Clinton, and then won the election in the crucial states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Although Biden will be 78 in 2020, he has the energy, the knowledge, the experience needed to defeat Donald Trump, and he just might return to the Senate in 2018, if Tom Carper follows through on his plans to retire.

So it is not yet time to say Biden’s career is over, although in elective office, it might be, but he will play a public role because it is in his blood to do so, and he will not stay silent when he sees wrongs being done by the Donald Trump Administration.

The alliance of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was the closest one in American history, possibly matched by Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, who in two days will have both survived the amazing total of 36 years since the Presidency and 40 years since their election in 1976!

Obama utilized Biden’s connections on Capitol Hill; and gave Biden an office in the White House, as Carter had done for Mondale; and had weekly lunches with Biden as Carter did with Mondale.

Joe Biden was a true Presidential Advisor, full time participant, and trouble shooter, and was not afraid to disagree with Obama, particularly on foreign policy, his expertise, but was always a loyal part of the team once a decision had been made by the President.

Biden’s warm, sincere personality was lovable, and he was able to work across the aisle on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and other influential Republicans, and the entire Senate honored him recently for his cordial and effective role in the Senate.

Biden took the lead on gay rights and gay marriage; protection of women against violence; immigration reform; environmental advancements; gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre; and the War on Cancer after his son died of that horrendous disease. Foreign leaders also, totally, respected him.

Joe Biden could be regarded as the greatest Vice President in American history, and his lifelong contributions will mark him in history as a very special political leader!

Thank you for your service to the nation and to Barack Obama, Vice President Biden!

Hillary Clinton Seems To Be Planning To Ask Joe Biden To Be Her Secretary Of State! If So, Fantastic Move!

Politico reports that Hillary Clinton is planning to ask Vice President Joe Biden to be her Secretary of State!

If the news is true, that would be a fantastic beginning to a Hillary Clinton Presidency!

This author and blogger has proposed this in the past, and it would be great news if it turned out to be reality.

Joe Biden is the absolutely best person to head our foreign policy in the next four years.

Joe Biden has a record of enough caution in his views on foreign affairs that it would help allay fears on the left of the Democratic Party that Hillary Clinton would be prone to engage us in foreign interventions, due to the image, much of it unwarranted, that she is a “hawk”.

Joe Biden knows all world leaders, and he knows how to get along with everyone, and move them toward his ideas, even including Republicans on Capitol Hill, who genuinely like him and had him as their liaison to President Obama during the last eight years, due to Biden’s well known ability to “schmooze” in a way unique to American politics.

Joe Biden has been right much of the time, including his suggestion years ago that Iraq should probably be three nations, each with its own religious sect and nationality—the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds. That is still the ultimately best solution for that battle torn nation, once ISIL (ISIS) is destroyed.

Joe Biden has 44 years in government, and was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and no one past or present, has the depth of experience and knowledge that this man has.

Even though Joe Biden will be 74 next month, he still has loads of energy, enthusiasm, stamina, and motivation to serve his nation, and he is a true jewel who should be utilized in our next President’s administration.

The report on Hillary Clinton planning to ask Joe Biden to join her cabinet is a true sign of her wisdom and genius in running a sane, sensible foreign policy in the future!

The Inauspicious Beginning Of The Republican 114th Congress: 25 Republicans Repudiate John Boehner, And White Supremacist Steve Scalise Kept As House Majority Whip!

The opening of the Republican controlled 114th Congress was an embarrassment in two major ways.

First, while Speaker John Boehner began his third two year term in that position, he suffered the repudiation of 25 members of his caucus, who refused to support him, making for the largest rebellion against a sitting Speaker in 150 years, since the Civil War era. Instead, these 25 rebels voted for Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (a distant descendant of the great Massachusetts Senator of the 19th century; Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert; Florida Congressman Ted Yoho; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Army General Colin Powell; and others, making a joke out of the proceedings.

Then, despite the outcry against Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, who spoke at a David Duke sponsored event in 2002, claiming not to know that Duke sponsored the event, failed to stop him from being kept on as House Majority Whip. Scalise had claimed in the past that he was a “David Duke Republican”, but now claims ignorance of the racist, antisemitic career of the former Ku Klux Klan leader and his connections to the American Nazi Party. Duke ran for Governor and Senator in the early 1990s in Louisiana, and former President George H. W. Bush led the fight against his candidacy for Governor in 1991, but somehow, Scalise was not affected by that history, and was wiling to connect himself to Duke. Yet, the GOP decided to keep him as third ranking Republican in the House.

So a very inauspicious beginning for the GOP, as they try to convince the American people that they represent the nation, and should gain the White House, as well as Capitol Hill, in 2016!

Jon Huntsman Hints That He Might Run For President Again In 2016

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will give the commencement address at the University of Wisconsin in Madison on May 17th.

He has also been interviewed recently by Larry King on his online PoliticKing series, with the interview available on You Tube!

He is involved in leadership of a group called NO LABELS, which purpose is to stop the divisiveness on Capitol Hill and bring solutions to our domestic and foreign policy problems.

Barack Obama was concerned that Huntsman might be the GOP Presidential nominee in 2012, and has very high respect for him.

This author has certainly made clear over the years of his blog of his admiration and respect for Jon Huntsman, who he sees as the ONLY legitimate candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. He is very knowledgeable, very informed, very impressive as a public speaker, has a handsome manner about him, a warm personality that fits what we need in the Presidency in the future, if there is to be a viable alternative to Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. When one compares Huntsman to ANY other Republican who might run for President, they all come across as laughable by comparison. Their intelligence level, their compassion, their understanding of what really affects the middle class and the poor, and their understanding of the world, all demonstrate massive gaps!

No one else has his breadth of experience, particularly in foreign policy, so important for the next term, other than Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but he also has proved he can lead as Governor and get things done.

His problem is the right wing extremism of the Republican Party, and the evil Tea Party Movement, which are likely to prevent any chance of his being a serious candidate for the nomination, unless he chooses to run as an independent or third party candidate, but if he does that, it will insure the Democrats, who have the edge in the Electoral College anyway, will keep the White House!

Rapidly Escalating Tea Party Rhetoric Endangering President Obama And Civil Order!

For any sane person in America, the rapidly escalating Tea Party rhetoric that is developing on Capitol Hill, on right wing talk radio, in religious right wing rants, on conservative think tanks, and on Fox News Channel, is endangering the life of President Obama, and creating the threat of the breakdown of civil order!

There seems to be no limit to what utterances and threats are being issued, and the growing chant for impeachment of the President, which would under no circumstances lead to removal from the Presidency, but would disrupt American government and economic progress and foreign policy formulation, is an alarm bell ringing during the wee hours of the morning, giving one a sense of foreboding not seen since the time of the Civil War, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, whose 205th birthday we celebrate today.

The responsible Republican leadership in Congress seems, FINALLY, to realize the danger created by the anarchistic, fascistic Tea Party Movement, which is setting out to destroy the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, in their mad dash to take us back in every way possible to the 19th century, including talk of secession and states rights and racism and the use of violence to accomplish their goals!

This is a national emergency for survival of our democracy and system of equal justice for all, and everyone who has any common sense and sanity and decency, whether they agree or disagree with the administration in office, MUST speak up for calm and for eliminating the threat to our President, and to civil order for now and the long term future.

And some praying for divine guidance, whether religious or not, is appropriate here, hoping that we can return to a time of respect for our government, and acceptance of the reality that we are all in this together, the return of civil order and the ending of conflict that endangers the American future!

Governors And The Presidential Election Of 2016

It has often been pointed out that more Governors have been elected President over the course of American history than Senators.

From 1900 on, the following Presidents were earlier Governors of their states—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush.

The argument is that being a Governor prepares one better for the Presidency than serving in the national government in Washington, DC.

Whether this is true or not, the argument now is that the national government, and particularly the Congress, is so engaged in stalemate and gridlock, that the best choice in the Presidential Election of 2016 would be to go once again for a Governor or former Governor, as occurred four times of the past six Presidents, and seven of the past ten national elections.

So if that is the case, what is the market among Governors?

First, the Democratic side:

Martin O’Malley of Maryland
Andrew Cuomo of New York
John Hickenlooper of Colorado
Mark Warner of Virginia
Brian Schweitzer of Montana
Jerry Brown of California
Howard Dean of Vermont
Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Dannel Malloy of Connecticut

Now the Republican side

Chris Christie of New Jersey
Jeb Bush of Florida
Scott Walker of Wisconsin
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Rick Perry of Texas
John Kasich of Ohio
Jon Huntsman of Utah
Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Mike Pence of Indiana
Brian Sandoval of Nevada
Susana Martinez of New Mexico
Rick Scott of Florida

So, at least in theory, nine former or sitting Democratic Governors and twelve former or sitting Republican Governors are potential Presidential nominees.

Having said that, it is clear that some of these two groups are highly unlikely to be a candidate, or to have any realistic chance to be the nominee, including for the Democrats: Brown, Dean, Malloy, and Patrick, and for the Republicans: Scott, Martinez, Sandoval, Pence, Haley, and sadly (because he would be the best choice for the GOP long term), Huntsman.

For the Democrats, O’Malley and Cuomo and Warner (who has also served in the Senate), would be the best choices, were it not for the “800 pound gorilla” of Hillary Clinton and the slightly smaller version of Joe Biden. Were it not for them, these three listed Democrats would be a great term to compete for the nomination. Hickenlooper is also a good candidate, but would not be considered as likely to have a good chance, and Schweitzer might very well run, based on recent comments and activities, but the odds for him, especially against Clinton and Biden as things now stand, are extremely high of failure, and even of being mostly ignored by political pundits.

For the Republicans, Christie and Bush would be the most likely to have a real opportunity for the Presidency, but with the Tea Party Movement, neither is very popular, to say the least. Walker might be a better bet on that score, with Jindal seeming less attractive as time goes by, and Perry a real long shot based on his past performances. The “dark horse” to watch would be Kasich, who had a long career on Capitol Hill and knows how Washington works, and despite his mixed record in so many areas, is personally appealing, unlike any of those listed In this paragraph, in many ways the most appealing personally other than Huntsman.

If one had to bet which of each list would have the best chance, all things being equal, one would say O’Malley for the Democrats and Kasich for the Republicans, but the odds are that it will be someone from Capitol Hill–Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden for the Democrats, and Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan for the Republicans, with the Democrats having the clear edge in the Electoral College, because of the support of the Atlantic Coast and Pacific Coast, and the likelihood of strong support in the upper Midwest and Illinois and Iowa, along with Virginia, an unmatchable scenario for the Republicans, as we look at the political situation as 2013 ends, but always subject to changing times that are unpredictable.

The 2016 Presidential Campaign Has Begun: The Massive Assault On Hillary Clinton

For anyone who wonders when the Presidential Election campaign of 2016 will begin, it is now clear that it has begun this month, May 2013, with the Republican Party unwilling to change its image, policies or beliefs, and setting out to destroy the candidate who is favored by 65 percent of the American people, former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!

Hillary Clinton is accustomed to massive assaults on her character, her ethics, her public record, as she became the most attacked First Lady in American History, with possibly the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who like Hillary Clinton, represented a fundamental set of principles and values that terrified conservatives and Republicans in the 1930s, and again in the 1990s.

So Hillary Clinton, a very tough lady, must decide if she is willing to take the heat, venom, poison, and utter contempt that she will have visited on her over the next three and a half years. Her husband was vilified from DAY ONE, and yet managed to produce a record far superior to earlier or later Bush Presidencies.

Hillary Clinton, if she decides ultimately to run for the White House, will have to deal, also, with the reality that when and if she becomes President, she will not have a restful day, but that is par for the course, as it was for Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama.

But as long as the American people continue to see her as the first woman President, who see her as a visionary who will fight the good fight against the Right Wing hate machine on Capitol Hill, on Talk Radio, and on Fox News Channel, as well as powerful pressure groups that work against the interests of the masses of the American people, she will triumph and make the Republicans like it, and if they do not, she will have the personality to condemn them openly, and not be as “nice” as Obama has been, to his own detriment!

The Bicentennial Of The War Of 1812 On Monday

Two centuries ago tomorrow, the United States declared war on Great Britain, its first war as a nation, its first declaration of war in American history.

The declaration of war under President James Madison was a bold and unfortunate gesture, as America was ill equipped to fight the greatest naval power in the world, and our former colonial masters.

The war would see the burning of the White House and Capitol Hill in August, 1814, our first internal invasion, followed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and the attack by Al Qaeda on the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.

The war would have its heroes, including Andrew Jackson, who won the major battle of the war at New Orleans, a few weeks after the formal ceasefire, but before knowledge of it was available.

The War of 1812 has been called the Second War for Independence, with America turning inward after the war, and expanding across the continent, and not engaging in war with a foreign power from Europe again until the brief Spanish American War of 1898, and made only a major commitment to overseas warfare a century after the War of 1812, during the last 19 months of World War I.

The War of 1812 has also been called the “Sorry Little War”, since it was not a bright moment for America militarily, and James Madison is regarded as a weak wartime President, despite the greatness of his career otherwise.

While relations between America and its former colonial master would be tense much of the time for the next century until World War I, we would never again fight Great Britain in war, and since World War II in particular, our greatest friend and ally has been Great Britain!

While not a war of significance long term as the Civil War, or the two World Wars, and not a war with territorial gains, as with the Mexican War and the Spanish American War, it is appropriate that we commemorate this bicentennial event in a respectful manner!

Luke Russert Shines On MSNBC: His Father Would Be Proud!

One of the pleasant developments in the media world is the rise of Luke Russert to stature on MSNBC!

The son of Tim Russert, the much respected anchor of MEET THE PRESS for two decades, who died of a heart attack in June 2008, Luke Russert at the time was a fresh college graduate who seemed like a nice young man, but who knew that he would shine and develop over the next three years?

Luke Russert has become a Capitol Hill correspondent for MSNBC and NBC News, and has done a very creditable job.

He has matured and become respected in a way that his father would be very proud of, and this morning he was anchor on THE DAILY RUNDOWN, substituting for Chuck Todd.

Don’t be surprised if he, someday soon, ends up as anchor of his own show, as he has become a major asset to MSNBC and NBC in the tradition of his beloved, honored dad!