Congress

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

Trump Uses Military Force On Syria On 100th Anniversary Of America Declaring War On Germany, Austria Hungary, And Ottoman Turks In World War I

Donald Trump has employed military force on a Syrian airbase, the villain in using chemical warfare on civilians, including children and babies, in the midst of the Syrian Civil War, which has raged for six years now, with Russia being the major ally of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

In so doing, Trump has done something considered appropriate, but the question is what effect it will have on the Syrian Civil War, on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, as well as our other rivals in the world, including China, North Korea, and Iran.

The irony of Trump taking action as the Chinese President is visiting him in Palm Beach, Florida, is noticed, as Trump wants and expects Chinese help to deal with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s ruthless dictator, who continues to lob missiles, and is seen as a growing nuclear threat.

One can expect rapid action by Trump on North Korea after the summit with China ends this weekend.

So we have another President who is able to use foreign policy and national security as an area that may be part of his legacy, and might also boost his horrific public opinion polling ratings.

But we have to wonder whether Trump will be measured in his response, as he seems to be at the moment on Syria, or will end up enmeshing us in massive troop commitments in the Middle East and in the Korean peninsula in endless wars with massive loss of life and treasure.

Ironically, this military action occurred precisely on the centennial anniversary of Congress declaring war on Germany, Austria Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks in the First World War, the beginning of America’s full engagement with the world. The past century has seen America engaged in seven major wars and innumerable military engagements short of full scale war.

So one has to wonder how the American people will react to new military adventures, that might even require the beginning of a military draft, for the first time since 1973.

75 Days In Office, Donald Trump Is A True Disaster, A Failure On Many Fronts!

We are three quarters of the way through the first 100 Days of President Donald Trump, and he is a true disaster, a failure on so many fronts.

Trump’s public opinion ratings are the absolute worst since public opinion polling began 80 years ago for a new President.

Some Presidents had lower public opinion ratings than Trump, but it took years in office for Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush to reach such low levels.

Trump has 35 percent approval against 57 percent disapproval in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, and he is lower than Barack Obama ever was.

Among men, he has 39 percent support against 51 percent disapproval.

White voters are 43 percent in favor against 48 percent negative.

Women voters are 31 percent positive against 63 percent negative.

Independent voters are 32 percent for and 57 percent against.

Non white voters are 16 percent in favor and 77 percent negative.

Democrats are 6 percent positive against 91 percent against.

On the other hand, Republicans, living in a parallel universe, are 79 percent in favor and 14 percent against.

On his personal qualities, Trump is majority negative in every area including:

61-34 that Trump is not honest

55-40 that he does not have good leadership skills

57-39 that does not care about average Americans

66-29 that he is not level headed

61-34 that he does not share their values

52 percent are embarrassed that Trump is their President, compared to 27 percent proud

On health care he gets a negative 28-64 rating, negative 61-29 on the environment, 48-41 negative on the economy, 58-35 negative on foreign policy, 49-42 negative on handling terrorism, and 57-39 negative on handling immigration issues.

Meanwhile, Republicans are negative 70-21 for their leadership in Congress, although Democrats are negative 57-34.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is negative 28-52 compared to Nancy Pelosi a negative 30-47 rating

Mitch McConnell is 14-47 negative while Chuck Schumer is negative 25-38.

The situation will not get better, and likely will get worse, as Trump faces foreign policy challenges, particularly North Korea most immediately.

A Sobering Centennial: America Enters “The Great War” On April 6, 1917

It has been a century since America entered world affairs in a full sense, as on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson spoke to Congress and asked for a declaration of war against the Imperial German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and allied with Great Britain, France and Italy, in what was called “The Great War” at the time, and later World War I or the First World War.

The controversy over whether Wilson could have kept us out of the war has raged for a century, and his handling of the war effort, and the promotion of restriction on civil liberties during the war has remained highly contentious, and has caused Wilson to decline from Number 6 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2000, to Number 9 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2009, and now Number 11 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2017, all participated in by reputable scholars.

American sacrifices in war had been avoided, as America remained isolated from world affairs and foreign conflict until 1917, but in the last century, we have been in many major wars since then, including World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War, along with many other foreign interventions in Latin America and the Middle East.

No one can be anything but sober to realize that when Congress voted for war on April 6, 1917, it transformed America in a permanent way, helping to create the concept of an American Empire, and America as a world leader since the end of World War II.

And now, with Donald Trump, the whole history of American foreign relations is in flux, and we face many challenges and crises in international affairs, and the hope is that we will avoid further military conflicts in the future, but hard to believe that is the scenario under Donald Trump.

PBS will have a six hour presentation on The American Experience on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings April 10, 11, and 12 on America and The Great War, our nation’s engagement in the First World War, from many different perspectives, highly recommended to all who read this blog.

Paul Ryan, A Phony Christian (Catholic), With His Views On The Poor, Disabled, And Needy–Shame On Him And His Ilk In The GOP!

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ran for Vice President as the running mate of Mitt Romney in 2012, and at that time, this blogger made clear just how despicable a person he was, and I received a lot of hate emails because of that.

But what I said was true, and it is showing through ever more now on the Health Care legislation, where Ryan seems gleeful and excited about knocking millions of people off health care, and tells us that Obama Care is a nightmare, when it is anything but that.

Obama Care is not perfect, but it has saved many lives and brought health care to more than 20 million people, with the majority being white Christians, who now will be knocked off, and this will cause the death of thousands of people who will be unable to gain necessary medical intervention.

Ryan and others in the Congress have town halls, and hear the desperate entreaties of poor, sick, elderly, and disabled of all races and ethnic backgrounds, who are begging for a health care plan that does not ignore them.

Instead, the plan is to destroy Medicaid, and eventually Medicare as well, with Ryan laughing at one point about how he had been dreaming about this, when he was in college, drinking kegs of beer.

Watching that scene made this blogger want to vomit, as Ryan claims to be a “good Catholic”, a “good Christian”, as all of these reprehensible Republicans, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, claim they are.

But with Ryan’s views on the poor and needy, it is clear he is a phony Catholic, a phony Christian.

He believes all fetuses should be protected until born, but then a poor child and its mother are on their own, and if disabled, well,that is no responsibility of government.

Shame on him and his ilk in the Republican Party, who if there is true justice, should be kicked out of office by the voters, and should pay in the next world for their horrific sins, as they are NOT following the teachings of Jesus Christ, who would be shocked at their lack of concern for those less fortunate.

Could Republicans Be Running Scared At Reaction Of Trump Voters To Plan To Destroy ObamaCare?

The Republican Party, despite their majorities in both houses of Congress, are discovering that they have alarmed many Trump supporters–white Rust Belt voters–with their plan to destroy ObamaCare and leave millions of people uninsured.

The right wing does not care about health care, and Paul Ryan has come across as too gleeful at the thought of the destruction of the health care system.

This could be the beginning of a revolt which could upend the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, where a gain of 24 seats would make the Democrats the majority.

The Senate is more difficult for the Democrats to gain in 2018, as 25 D seats are up and only 8 R seats.

But the Senate seems much more cautious about destroying ObamaCare without considering the damage done to Trump supporters, who desperately need health care, and suddenly see the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, as something they are not willing to give up for ideological fanaticism of the GOP.

The Health Care battle has just begun, and will reverberate throughout the nation, and Donald Trump is likely to see a massive reaction against him if the Trump voters become victims.

Three Percent Of Planned Parenthood Funds Are Abortions; Three Percent Of ObamaCare Registrants Pay Higher Premiums: Massive Lie By Paul Ryan And Republicans!

The Republican Party in Congress is engaged in massive lies regarding health care, as they work to destroy ObamaCare.

They are out to defund Planned Parenthood, which does so much good for women and their health care, particularly for poor women.

And they are doing it on the lie that the primary goal of Planned Parenthood is to promote abortions, when the facts are that only THREE percent of the funds are used for abortions, while the vast majority is used to give poor women necessary physical examinations, including the prevention of cancer, and do basic health services that middle class and wealthier women never have to worry about obtaining.

Paul Ryan and his cohorts are also engaged in a massive lie that ObamaCare registrants are paying unacceptable higher premiums, when only THREE percent do so, as the rest get subsidies to help pay for their health care.

So the Republicans want to destroy the health care coverage of 20 million Americans who have benefited from health care, without any plan to provide affordable health care to these people who will be victims of propaganda and lies.

How can these people sleep at night, denying people health care which will, in many cases, cost their lives? Is this not the party of Pro Life, and of Christianity?

Principled Conservatives Who Oppose Trump: Ben Sasse, Evan McMullin, Bill Kristol, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, George Will, David Brooks

Only two weeks and three days into the Trump Presidency, and many principled conservatives are clearly opposing Donald Trump, and speaking out against him.

This includes Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska; independent 2016 Presidential candidate Evan McMullin; Weekly Standard Publisher and Editor Bill Kristol; former Reagan speechwriter and columnist Peggy Noonan; former Bush II speechwriter and columnist David Frum; conservative columnist George Will; and NY Times columnist David Brooks.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, as these and others in the conservative movement and in the Republican Party in and out of Congress are horrified by his unconstitutional actions and rhetoric, and signs of a growing Fascism directed by White House aides Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

There are hints that people working in the White House and in the Cabinet agencies are uneasy and disturbed, and it is possible we might have some prominent figures announce their split with their boss and his dangerous extremists who are taking charge and putting the nation in danger as a result, both in domestic and foreign policy.

With the immigration travel ban being contested now in the federal courts, we may be on the way to a quick movement to force Trump out of office for violating his Constitutional oath of office.

The nation and the world are standing by in trepidation as to how much damage Trump has wrought and will continue to do so.

The Power Behind The Throne, Undermining Rationality Of Trump: Michael Flynn, Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, And Jared Kushner

Donald Trump’s White House advisors are the powers behind the throne, and are a major threat to any sense of stability in domestic and foreign policy, and undermining the rationality of Donald Trump, or whatever of that exists.

And we are just about two weeks into this Presidency, and this is already clear.

Michael Flynn is the unhinged National Security Advisor, while Stephen Bannon is Trump’s Chief Strategist and White House Advisor and Senior Counselor, and Stephen Miller is a key aide to Bannon–all three of them connected to white supremacists and neo Nazi groups, and involved in the decision on the Muslim ban last week, and the Yemen raid, which led to the death of a Navy Seal and killing of many civilians, including children.

And it is clear that Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, also part of the White House group, is no genius either, far from it, and really an arrogant, overrated person because he is Trump’s son in law.

This group of characters may play a more important role than Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and that is disastrous on its face.

These people are unaccountable to Congress, and they are a sign that Trump will have a disastrous, corrupt administration, and shorten the term of Trump in the Presidency.

Congressional Republicans Growing Unease About Donald Trump

Less than two weeks in office, Donald Trump is starting to see growing unease among some Congressional Republicans about his independent, go it alone, style of leadership.

Trump clearly feels he was elected without true party unity, and intends to govern in an authoritarian manner, but there are Republicans who are unhappy with his style and manner.

These include:

Arizona Senator John McCain
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
Maine Senator Susan Collins

Also, some Congressmen are also speaking out, so Trump may be a President without a party, and to find that, one must go back to the 19th century, where two Presidents, who succeeded a President who died, had massive headaches trying to deal with the party that had accepted them, members of the opposition party, as their Vice President, due to the wishes of the Presidential nominee, but with no expectation that the President wold die in office.

I am referring to Democrat John Tyler, who ran on the Whig Party ticket with William Henry Harrison in 1840; and Democrat Andrew Johnson, who ran on the Republican “Union” Party line with Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

Both Tyler and Johnson would have never ending headaches with their adopted party, with major battles over Supreme Court and Cabinet appointments, and a threat to impeach John Tyler, and an actual impeachment trial for Andrew Johnson.

Could Donald Trump be on the way to similar resistance and possible impeachment? He is alienating Congress by being a “lone wolf”, showing his disdain for Congress and the party line he ran on.

One must recall that his victory for President was the worst ever in popular vote loss to his opponent, and seventh lowest percentage ever, but with all those Presidents with lower percentage of vote, having had two or three opponents who gained electoral votes, instead of just one opponent.