Clarence Thomas

The Year Of The Woman 2018 Likely To Surpass The Earlier Year, 1992!

In 1992, we saw a major increase in women officeholders, a reaction against the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas controversy of 1991, with the number of women in Congress and in state legislatures dramatically rising.

It now seems likely that 2018 will see a massive rise of women into both houses of Congress, the governorships, and state legislature, with Donald Trump”s misogyny, along with the Republican attack on women’s health, sexual harassment, and treatment in society motivating greater participation in running for office as Democrats, and the expected much increased plan of women to vote across the country.

107 women presently serve in the US Congress (78 Democrats, 29 Republicans), with 84 in the House of Representatives and 23 in the US Senate.

Over 1,900 women serve in state legislatures, and six women serve as state governors, four Republicans and two Democrats.

Over 1,200 Democratic women are in state legislatures, with about 700 Republican women serving.

Overall, about 20-25 percent in elected positions across the nation are women.

So many women, particularly Democrats, are winning nominations for legislative and congressional seats and for governor, so we should see an all time high in November, once the election results are in.

As many as 77 women, two thirds of them Democrats, are running for Governor in the 36 states that have gubernatorial elections in 2018. There could be more than 9 women governors, which is the all time record.

32 Democratic women and 22 Republican women are running for the US Senate in 2018, and we should see more than the all time high of 24.

Women have voted in greater numbers than men in recent years, and that should be continued, with the motivation of Donald Trump, and now with the likelihood of a move in the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion, a divisive issue which will draw women to the polls in growing numbers.

Supreme Court Battle Most Contentious Since Robert Bork And Clarence Thomas Nominations In 1987 and 1991

It is already clear, just two days after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, that the battle to confirm a replacement will be the most contentious since Robert Bork was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1987, and Clarence Thomas was nominated by George H. W. Bush in 1991.

Both times, the Democrats, however, controlled the Senate, and this time, they do not, which is a massive difference.

Bork was defeated in a roll call vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The Democrats have limited ways to stop the confirmation of a replacement for Anthony Kennedy, as no longer can the filibuster tactic be used, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to give an inch to the Democrats.

The only hope for the Democrats is to convince Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine to back up their strong support of abortion rights, but both voted for Neil Gorsuch last year, as the first Supreme Court choice of Donald Trump.

But it is certain that the fireworks over this nomination, whoever it might be, will make the 2018 midterm elections even more a reason for all Americans to pay attention and to vote, as clearly, voting can change the course of history, and non voting has consequences!

The Never Ending Nightmare Of Donald Trump, Who Has Disgraced, Undermined, Tarnished, Stained, And Harmed The Reputation Of The Presidency!

As we see the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, it is clear that it is a never ending nightmare visited on the American people.

Donald Trump has disgraced the office of the Presidency.

Donald Trump has undermined trust and faith in the law, the Constitution, and American democracy, and demonstrated lack of respect for freedom of the press.

Donald Trump has tarnished the reputation of America as the leader of the world.

Donald Trump has stained the concept of decency, dignity, and concern of the leader of the nation for those less fortunate, or facing historic discrimination.

Donald Trump has harmed the reputation of the Presidency as an office which promotes basic moral and ethical values.

Donald Trump has affected the relationships between men and women, boys and girls, in a deleterious manner, which will harm the nation long term.

Donald Trump has manufactured and promoted more lies than any American politician in American history, and undermines the ability of Americans to respect the office and the person who holds that position.

Donald Trump has damaged America long term in just one year, as with the long term effects of his lower court appointments, and his selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, who seems short term to be further to the right politically than Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and maybe even the man he replaced, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Donald Trump has left a legacy of environmental damage that will not be easily reversed, and of harm to labor and consumers that will set back the dwindling middle class and the working class for decades.

Donald Trump has also given us the worst set of cabinet members ever, far worse already than Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, or Ulysses S. Grant.

Donald Trump has left already an indelible mark on America, and is on the way to the worst four year term in history, bar none, and with the danger of two wars being started, if he lasts into the end of the second year–against North Korea and Iran.

We should all hope that Donald Trump is forced out of office soon, although the prospect of President Mike Pence is a ghastly thought at this point.

What the Russians did has succeeded, destroying our presidential election, and giving us horrifying alternatives in Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, when clearly, Hillary Clinton won an election that was stolen from her!

How The Republican Majority Supreme Court Has Promoted Corporate Control And Voter Suppression, And Undermined American Democracy

Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission (2010) and Shelby County V. Holder (2013) are the two decisions of the majority Supreme Court in the last decade which have destroyed the concept of fair and free elections in America.

Those cases, and Bush V Gore (2000) have done everything possible to undermine the majority of the people in Presidential elections, as well as other elections in states, which should have favored the Democratic Party.

And now, with a new right wing Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, possibly more extremist than Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito on the Court since April, the future is very gloomy for progressive values and beliefs.

Realize that the Democrats have won the popular vote in Presidential elections six of the last seven times, from 1992 to 2016, only losing to George W. Bush in 2004.

But the Supreme Court Republican majority has allowed corporations to be seen as people, and this has led to extreme abuse by many wealthy corporate special interests, and individual millionaires and billionaires, to put excessive amounts of funding into negative campaigns against liberals and Democrats, and to fund right wing extremist campaigns for legislation they want, and for conservative candidates they desire.

And loosening the enforcement of voting rights by states has allowed many states to place new voter restrictions on poor people, minorities, young people, and the elderly, making voting an onerous process, and in effect, working for voter suppression, which apparently had an effect in the 2016 Presidential election in some states, and for sure, in Wisconsin, one of the crucial states that gave Donald Trump the victory by a very small margin of votes.

The undermining of American democracy is in full swing, and the fear is that we have just seen the tip of the iceberg in regards to Republican and conservative repression of much of the law and legislation, and the election process itself, in the future, with the ability of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to “fix” the future, one of moving backwards by a century or more in so many respects.

The Sickening Sexual Harassment Scandals

The last few weeks have seen the destruction of the public reputations of many prominent people in Hollywood and in politics.

Being a public figure, and with great power, influence, and financial assets, many well known men have exploited women, and in some cases, men, in a disgraceful way over the years.

It was an unspoken secret that this was going on for a long time, with few individuals being exposed.

The attention was primarily on Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, but also many Republicans, including Newt Gingrich and Strom Thurmond, plus Dennis Hastert, Henry Hyde, Mark Foley, Rudy Giuliani, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and now in the last month, Harvey Weinstein, and numerous others who became infamously involved in sex scandals.

But now the list of exposed public figures continues to mount, with resultant disillusionment by many that such people as George Takei, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Spacey, and Al Franken, all much admired, have been engaged in sexual harassment and abuse, including children and boys, as well as girls, women, and men.

And now, Bill Clinton, who went through impeachment and disbarment twenty years ago, is again being pilloried, along with his wife, Hillary Clinton for covering it up, but somehow, Donald Trump, the ultimate sexual harasser and abuser, seems able to escape accountability, along with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

The only good aspect of the present revelations is that women are now more engaged in doing something momentous about it, unlike the failure to move ahead on this after the Clarence Thomas scandal of 1991.

Women must insist on full disclosure of misbehavior, and do whatever is necessary, to change the situation in Hollywood, politics, sports, and the corporate business community.

The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Makes Holding Donald Trump Accountable For Misbehavior With Women An Urgent Matter!

The disgraceful behavior towards women of Harvey Weinstein, famed Hollywood producer, has brought the issue of sexual harassment and sexual aggression of powerful men toward women in Hollywood and the corporate world and in society in general into new attention.

It is totally unacceptable that any woman in the work world should have to deal with this.

One would think after the Justice Clarence Thomas debacle in 1991, and the adoption of sexual harassment laws shortly after, that this would not be the problem that it clearly is in 2017.

One out of five women, and possibly more, have faced or will face such misbehavior by men, and our President is clearly a leading abuser of women and their bodies, as he himself bragged about in the infamous Access Hollywood tape a year ago, which should have been the nail in the coffin of his Presidential candidacy, but did not lead to his defeat.

But Trump still needs to be held accountable, as much as Harvey Weinstein and every other sexual abuser, no matter how famous or unknown each person is.

Bill Clinton was held accountable and impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998, although not convicted and removed from office by the Senate in 1999. But he suffered the torment and embarrassment of going through the impeachment process.

Meanwhile, the Republican leaders of the House of Representatives were themselves engaged in such misbehavior, including then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and others, including Henry Hyde, Bob Livingston, and even Dennis Hastert, future Speaker who had victimized teenage boys in his earlier career as a high school wrestling coach.

The Republicans were very willing to pursue Bill Clinton, while continuing their own bad behavior.

Where is the Republican outrage about Donald Trump and his misbehavior over the years?

It is time to hold Donald Trump accountable, as much as Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, and others, and to impeach him for his misbehavior, along with many other impeachment charges, and make it clear that just because one is wealthy and powerful, that he cannot get away with such abuse.

Donald Trump’s Ignorance Of Science, History, Geography, Spelling, Math, Reading: Just Like His Poorly Educated Base!

Donald Trump has proved himself to be totally ignorant of so many fields of knowledge.

He is ignorant of science, and of the dangers presented by climate change and global warming.

He is ignorant of history, displaying his total lack of basic historical facts.

He is ignorant of basic geography, and could not point out nations or states on a map of the world.

He cannot spell, making constant mistakes on Twitter. It is true that anyone can misspell occasionally, and that typos can occur, but it happens so often that it demonstrates that he cannot spell, or if he does, he has no concern about how his blunders in spelling appear to readers of his Twitter account. He has no concern to correct himself, or admit shortcomings in spelling.

He has no concern about math, and what kind of increased costs his Mexico Wall proposal and vastly increased defense spending request would do to the budget.

He has no interest in reading, and lacks concentration power to stick to anything he reads, the reason why he wishes all memos to him to be one page, so he has never read the text of any healthcare bill conjured up by Congress to destroy ObamaCare.

He has no concern about details about anything, just wishing to add a notch to his so called “accomplishments” list, which now after eight months is one name–Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch–but by a smaller vote margin of 55-45, the least of anyone in the 20th or 21st century, except for Justice Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991 by a vote of 52-48.

What is truly sad is that Donald Trump’s gaps of knowledge are shared by a large portion of his poorly educated base, who hate universities, professors, and intellectuals, because they revel in their own inferiority and ignorance.

This is a definite long term crisis for America, the ignorance and lack of appreciation of education and knowledge, by a substantial percentage of the masses, who would rather follow an ignorant billionaire, and hang on his every word, rather than use reason and evaluation in their daily lives.

Six Months Of Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch, And Nothing Else Of Substance Other Than Executive Orders That Repeal Much Of 20th Century

It has been six months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and what does he have to show for it?

Well, there is Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, approved by smallest margin since Clarence Thomas in 1991, and with changed rules, with the filibuster no longer applicable. Gorsuch would never have been approved if the filibuster still existed for Supreme Court nominees.

Other than that, nothing of substance, with the exception of a host of executive orders designed to destroy the Obama legacy and cut regulations dramatically in all areas of government, having a devastating effect on the progress made under Republican and Democratic Presidents going back to Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century.

But no legislation has been passed, NONE!

Trump has been much better at dividing the nation, keeping his public opinion ratings under 40 percent, an all time low in the 70 plus years of Presidential ratings.

The promises have not been kept, as with the Mexico Wall, ending ObamaCare, Tax Reform, and Infrastructure Investment.

Trump has undermined environmental protections,

stripped labor protections,

made for high levels of stress for multiple millions on health care,

promoted high levels of corruption openly,

lied five times a day,

created a commission to investigate voter fraud that does not exist,

undermined respect for the law and the intelligence agencies and freedom of the press,

made wild and unsubstantiated accusations against Barack Obama,

created tension with our NATO allies,

been limited in his Muslim ban by the courts although winning a partial victory temporarily,

been far too friendly with Russia and Vladimir Putin,

failed to fill thousands of essential positions in the federal government and caused many bureaucrats to resign,

supported authoritarian dictatorships in many nations openly,

undermined our energy future by falsely claiming that coal has a long term future,

and promoted wealthy special interests on Wall Street despite his claims the would “clean the Swamp”.

His cabinet and other appointments are the absolute worst, most atrocious of any President, and the mean spirited, nasty nature of Trump and his cohorts has caused a loss of faith in the American future.

And all this and more, without, so far, any major international crisis, but with it lurking on the horizon, and the thought of how Trump will handle it when the crisis arises, is literally horrifying, and sure to cause loss of American lives!

115th Congress Begins Tomorrow: Joe Biden Could Have A Surprise (We Can Hope)!

Tuesday, January 3, is the opening of the 115th Congress, but Joe Biden is still Vice President for 17 days more, and could have a surprise up his sleeve, which is perfectly constitutional.

What is this potential surprise?

Joe Biden, in league with Democrats in the US Senate, can call for an immediate vote on the languishing Supreme Court appointment of Merrick Garland, made ten months ago, to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of last year.

It is unheard of to deny the Supreme Court a full number of members for an entire year, but this is what the Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did, and it borders on unconstitutionality, for which the Republicans have suffered no consequences.

Joe Biden, after 36 years in the US Senate, and eight as Vice President under Barack Obama, has continued to keep good relationships across the aisle, and was praised profusely recently by Republicans, as well as Democrats, in a near eulogy about his great Senate and public service.

But that does not mean that Joe Biden is, as nice and gracious and cordial and warm as he is, not willing to be a gutter fighter over principles he believes in, and he was vehement at the unfairness of not giving Merrick Garland a Senate hearing at the least, on his unquestioned qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Garland was “railroaded” in Biden’s mind, victimized for no good reason, and Joe feels Garland should not be pushed by the wayside, in his own heart and mind.

So the rumors were around, and then hushed, that Joe Biden might call for a vote of the 66 returning Senators who do not need to be sworn in by him after 12 noon tomorrow.

If he decides to call a vote, the balance of those 66 Senators is 34 Democrats, 2 Independents (Bernie Sanders and Angus King), and 30 Republicans, so on a straight party line vote, Garland would be confirmed 36-30, and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans could do NOTHING about it legally, as it is constitutional to call a vote, and there is no constitutional requirement to have hearings. Many Justices never had hearings, which only became customary and drawn out in the 1980s, when Joe Biden led the fight with Ted Kennedy against Robert Bork, and later in the 1990s and since, when Joe Biden led the fight against Clarence Thomas on the Court.

So the point is that Joe Biden knows now to play “hard ball”, and he just could surprise us tomorrow, which would lead to condemnation by the right wing and Republicans, but who really cares?

The GOP does not worry about being nasty and playing “hard ball”! In fact, they specialize and revel in it, so let them stew in their own juice!

Let us hope that Joe makes news and distinction for one of his last actions as Vice President and Presiding Officer of the US Senate.

Let him become the center of attention, and maybe, just maybe, if he stays in good health, he can break a new barrier in four years, becoming the oldest President of the United States at age 78, making Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan look like youngsters by comparison.

Certainly, Joe Biden, the common man with no fortune, running against the wealthiest and most arrogant man to ever hold the Presidency, Donald Trump, would look very tempting as an alternative in 2020, since so many think he could have won the difference in the vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, had he run, and son Beau Biden had not tragically passed away in 2015.

And there are strong hints that Delaware Senator Tom Carper, with a long distinguished career with six years as State Treasurer, ten years as Congressman, eight years as Governor, and 18 years as US Senator by the end of 2018, may wish to retire, so imagine this!

Joe Biden could run for and win back a Senate seat and add to his 36 years in the Senate, and be a sitting Senator if he decides to run for President again, and if not, he can still serve his nation in the US Senate, and add to his distinguished record of public service!

The Changing Supreme Court In 2017: A Move To The Left That Will Last To The 2040s Or Beyond!

With the reality that Democrat Hillary Clinton has a clear lead for the Electoral College, the likelihood of a liberal majority Supreme Court seems more certain in 2017 and beyond.

News that Justice Clarence Thomas might retire at age 68 in the next year is encouraging in that regard, but even if he does not, as his wife has just contended, the likelihood is of FOUR appointments to the Court outside of Thomas, with two of them (Antonin Scalia dead and Anthony Kennedy retiring) being a movement to the left, making at the least a 6-3 Court by 2020. If Thomas also leaves, it would be a 7-2 Court, which would have a long range effect to the 2040s or beyond!

The Supreme Court has had a Republican and conservative majority for 44 years, since 1972, so it is about time to right the balance and make for a revival of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Court, which had an effect for 16 years, and continued to influence, if not control the Court, with the extended service of Justice William Brennan and Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Fortunately, Justice Harry Blackmun, Justice John Paul Stevens, and Justice David Souter, all appointed by Republican Presidents, often joined the few liberals left on the Court, and prevented the Court from going even further Right than it did in those 44 years.

But there is a desperate need for a tilt to the left on so many issues, so that is the most important reason for the election of Hillary Clinton to the White House in November!