17 Democratic Senators Have Learned Nothing From Great Recession, And Are To Be Condemned For Joining Republicans To Cut Back Banking Reforms

In 2008-2009, we saw the collapse of the American economy, with the biggest banks and Wall Street firms guilty of causing it.

None of those banks or Wall Street firms paid a price for their illegal, unethical activities, which destroyed the economy in a manner unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Under Barack Obama, the Dodd-Frank Law was passed to insure accountability of banks and Wall Street, so that what happened a decade ago would never happen again.

But now, under a Republican Congress, the action to destroy the Dodd_Frank Law is occurring, and has been assisted by 17 Democratic Senators, and only with at least 10 of them, could such action to eliminate Dodd-Frank have moved forward.

It is shocking to see 17 of the 49 Democrats and Independents in the Senate become turncoats who effectively joined in this evil act, and all 17 need to be called out and denounced.

The problem is too many politicians gain campaign contributions from the big banks and Wall Street, so it compromises their ability to represent their states in a proper manner.

The problem is that if these Democrats are repudiated, it would only aid Republicans in possibly gaining their seats, so the issue is that it is preferable to have Democrats who will support the party on many issues, even if not on this issue.

Liberals and progressives will argue that they should be “primaried”, but the reality is that would only help promote more Republican senators, so we are in an area that could be described as “between the devil and the deep blue sea”!

But we must at least list these 17 Senators, so we are all aware of their “treason”:

Michael Bennet of Colorado
Tom Carper of Delaware
Chris Coons of Delaware
Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Doug Jones of Alabama
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Angus King of Maine (Independent)
Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Bill Nelson of Florida
Gary Peters of Michigan
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
Jon Tester of Montana
Mark Warner of Virginia

Ten of these 17 Senators face an election in 2018—Carper, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Kaine, King, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson, Stabenow, and Tester.

Of these 10, only Carper, Kaine and King are in states that went to the Democrats. The other seven were Republican states, and makes the task of keeping their seats ever more difficult.

Of the 17 Senators, only 8 of them, those from Colorado, Delaware (2), New Hampshire (2), Virginia (2), and Maine came from states carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So, sadly, we do not have the privilege and ability to call for the defeat of the ten who are running this year, but even true of the seven who are not running, as they are still better than Republicans to hold the seats.

Otherwise, the Democrats will lose all chance of ever gaining a majority, if they stick to an extreme progressive view of who is acceptable as a Democratic member of the US Senate.

However, one point should be made clear, that none of this list above should ever be considered seriously for President, with the reality that only the two Virginia Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are even talked about at all as potential nominees.

Tim Kaine may have run for Vice President with Hillary Clinton in 2016, but his support of repeal of the Dodd Frank Law should disqualify him and Warner for future Presidential consideration.

Off Shore Drilling Prevented In Florida By Rick Scott Intervention: Time To Prevent All Off Shore Drilling On All Coasts Of United States!

The Trump Administration and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke have called for open offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and in the waters surrounding Alaska, a violation of past environmental policies.

Favoring the oil and gas industries over the preservation of our coastlines is an outrage, and all Governors of the states affected have protested, rightfully.

But already, Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida, who plans to run for Bill Nelson’s Senate seat this fall, has joined Nelson and Republican Senator Marco Rubio in pressing for leaving Florida out of the offshore drilling edict, and the Trump Administration and Zinke have caved in, clearly for political reasons.

But that is not enough, as all states with ocean shoreline should be freed from this cave in to the oil and gas industry, and we do NOT need such exploration of our oceans, and too many oil spills and accidents have occurred, which kill of ocean life and pollute the waters.

The problem is that most of the coastal states are “blue”, or Democratic states,in New England, the Middle Atlantic, and the Pacific Coast. This includes Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, with only the latter three being Republican states, as is Florida. The Pacific Coast states include Washington, Oregon, and California, along with Hawaii and Alaska, with all but Alaska being Democratic states. Alaska, Florida, and California are the top three in coastline waters.

This should not be a political issue, and the fight to protect our wetlands is one that must be fought in a vehement, no holds barred, manner.

It should also include any new drilling in the Great Lakes area and along our various river systems, as we need to move toward alternative sources of energy, as so many nations in Europe, particularly Germany as an example, are doing.

Could It Be A Battle Between Two Upper Septuagenarians For The Democratic Presidential Nomination In 2020?

This blogger has written recently on the potential field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination, with him emphasizing the desirability of a “newer” generation of leadership in their 40s and 50s.

But having said that, the possibility does exist that the major battle for the nomination could be between two upper septuagenarians with long political careers, and many people who greatly admire them.

I am referring to former Vice President Joe Biden, who also served 36 years in the US Senate from Delaware; and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has served 27 years in Congress, in both the House of Representatives and Senate as the first successful long term Independent Socialist, who only became a Democrat when he announced for President, and now is officially an Independent again, although he caucuses with the Democrats.

Biden will be 78 two weeks after the 2020 election, and Sanders will be 79 shortly before that election.

Both are dedicated public servants, who have millions of admirers who remain ready to support their favorite candidate, if they decide to run for President.

Biden is comparatively more centrist, while Sanders is the extreme left of the Democratic Party.

Were both to run, while they would have many other candidates competing, it could be a battle royal for the ages, with their advanced age being an issue, although Donald Trump, were he to run in 2020, would be 74 and a half at the time of the election.

We have never had two people in their 70s as the alternatives, although Hillary Clinton was 69 in 2016.

Trying to predict who would triumph is quite a challenge, but this author thinks that Biden would have an easier time, with his Establishment credentials, and with Sanders still having to deal with the “Socialist” label, and being Jewish, even though he is not at all devout.

In the long run, however, it would still be preferable to have a “newer generation” of leadership leading the Democratic Party and the nation into the 2020s.

Time For “A New Generation Of Leadership” For Democrats Running For The Presidency

The Democratic Party needs “new blood” running for President in 2020, just as it had in John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter in 1976; Bill Clinton in 1992; and Barack Obama in 2008.

This is not the time for “old” leadership, meaning another run for the White House by Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. Anyone reading this blog knows of my great admiration for Biden, but at age 78 in 2020, it is too late, in the author’s opinion, for him to be a serious alternative. And as much as Hillary Clinton has an exceptional background, having run for President twice, and being still seen by many as a divisive figure, and being 73 in 2020, it is proper to say that her time has passed.

It is also NOT the time for Bernie Sanders, who despite his strong support, is not really a cooperative member of the Democratic Party, not having been a member until he decided to run for President, and now backing away again from membership in the party. His age in 2020, 79, also makes him far from a good choice for such a demanding job.

What about Elizabeth Warren? She will be 71 in 2020 and is an inspiring person, but the problem of misogyny that Hillary Clinton faced, which was a factor in her defeat, argues against Warren, as she has been cast in a negative light by many, for her vehement and outspoken manner. This blogger admires her, but finds it hard to believe she could win in the 2020 Presidential race.

So basically, what we need is someone not thought about before, and there are a multitude of candidates one can think of to consider for 2020.

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, (62 in 2020) )Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, is one, as is his fellow Virginian, Senator Mark Warner (65 in 2020). But both are seen by many as too moderate centrist, not appealing to the Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016.

There is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, (68 in 2020), who was thought of as an alternative running mate for Clinton, and who might have helped keep the white working class in Ohio and elsewhere for the Democrats in 2016.

There is also Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who would be 47 in 2020, and comes across as very appealing in appearance and views on the issues.

Then, there is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who would be 51 in 2020, but is seen as too centrist by many, and being African American, after the racism so evident during the term of Barack Obama, one wonders if that would be a problem.

And there are also Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (60 in 2020)and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (54 in 2020), but being females might be a negative factor, sad to say.

Additionally, there is Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon (64 in 2020), the only Democrat to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Less likely possibilities include Senator Chris Coons of Delaware (57 in 2020); Senator Al Franken of Minnesota (69 in 2020); Senator Kamala Harris of California (56 in 2020); and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (65 in 2020).

Other than the US Senate, the only possible gubernatorial Presidential possibilities that seem reasonable are New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (62 in 2020), and California Lieutenant Governor and likely next Governor Gavin Newsom (53 in 2020), former Mayor of San Francisco.

Trying to figure out this early who might indeed run is really difficult, but one can assume that a good number of these 18 possibilities will actually enter the Presidential race.

First thoughts on this would be that Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, and Gavin Newsom would have the best chance, with all likely to be candidates. All are young enough, and have a record of accomplishment worthy of consideration. But also, it is likely that Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren will also announce for President, and others might as well.

Of course, someone not yet thought of, who might be elected to the governorship or the Senate in 2018, might be added to the list.

And, one cannot eliminate someone from outside the political system, likely a businessman or media or entertainment star, could enter the race, and one cannot project against such a person having a real chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

One must recall that John F. Kennedy had the issue of Catholicism that was a problem; Jimmy Carter the Southern issue and basically unknown nationally; Bill Clinton having the ethics and morality issue; and Barack Obama having the racial problem.

No one would have predicted three years before their elections that any of them would have been the nominee of the party, let alone the next Presidency of the United States!

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!

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!

Joe Biden Presidential Bid In 2020?

Hard to believe, but Vice President Joe Biden is actually considering the possibility of running again for President in 2020, when he would be 78 years of age.

Biden is leaving public life on January 20, after 44 years of service, close to an all time record, with 36 years as Delaware Senator and 8 years as a very active, involved, and engaged Vice President, who had a major impact on the office.

Everyone loves Joe Biden, even Republicans, who saluted him in a Senate honoring of him this week, as Biden was able, even under President Obama, to cross the aisle and gain some support, even when Republicans were reluctant to work with the President.

Since the election, the feeling has developed that Biden, the “poorest US Senator” in his past, and with working class roots, and knowing how to appeal to the white working class, would have been able to bridge the difference in votes in Pennsylvania (the state he grew up in), Michigan and Wisconsin, and pulled out victory had he been the Democratic Presidential nominee.

If Biden’s son, Beau Biden, had not died in May 2015, it is believed that Joe would have run against Hillary Clinton, and might have been able to defeat her, and even Bernie Sanders, for the nomination, something, however, we will never be sure of, but a thought that will linger.

Of course, many liberals and Democrats will argue that Joe Biden is too old to run again, and that his record in the Senate was not as liberal as Bernie Sanders, and more in line with the record of Hillary Clinton, and that he cannot please millennials and the strong Left in the Democratic Party, which wants new and more progressive leadership in the future.

It is clear that if Biden ran, his warts and shortcomings would be emphasized, including originally supporting the Iraq War, as Hillary Clinton did, and the struggle for the nomination would not be easy, and one wonders if he could actually defeat Donald Trump if Trump ran for reelection.

What is clear now is that there is no way to know the future, after seeing Presidents, including John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump overcome many hurdles that few thought they could to win the Presidency, so who can say that a well loved, working class guy like Joe Biden at the age of 78, could not win the White House?

This is what makes following American politics so exciting, and also, get this, a Senate seat looks ready to open, as Democratic Senator Thomas Carper, finishing his third term in 2018, is rumored to be planning to retire, so in theory, and by some rumors, Joe Biden could run to return to the Senate and add to his six terms and 36 years in the Senate, and therefore be in elective office, at the time of a Presidential campaign in 2020!

Potential White Male Vice Presidential Nominees For Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign In 2016

If Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton decides not to go “radical” and select a woman or a person of minority heritage as her Vice Presidential choice for the upcoming Presidential Election of 2016, she has a long list of potential white males to choose from.

She could go for a Senator from a “swing” state, including the following:

Virginia–Senator Mark Warner or Senator Tim Kaine

Ohio–Senator Sherrod Brown (who I projected on December 31 as the likely choice)

Florida–Senator Bill Nelson

But there are other potential nominees, including:

Incumbent Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware, which I recommended on this blog in February 2015, and was interviewed about it by John Hockenberry of THE TAKEAWAY on National Public Radio on January 21 of this year, which can be found under “Interviews” on the right side of the blog

Senator Al Franken of Minnesota

Former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Of these nine potential candidates, the most likely would seem to be Brown, Kaine, and Franken in that order.

Biden and Nelson will both be 74 this year, five years older than Hillary Clinton, while O’Malley opposed Hillary in the early primaries and Merkley is the only US Senator to have endorsed Bernie Sanders, making them less likely.

Warner seems less likely than Kaine from Virginia, due to his close race for reelection in 2014, one he almost lost, and Murphy, one of the brightest young liberals, is more of a “dark horse”, not mentioned by many, but a possible surprise choice.

Small States’ (One House Member And Two Senators) Influence In Congress Since 1945

There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!  In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.

The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!

But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.

So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.

But look at their influence:

Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,  who  was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.  Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.

Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.  He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.

Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.  Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 as  a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.

Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.  Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.

And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).

So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!

What Beau Biden’s Death Shows About Joe Biden And The American People

The tragic and tormenting death of Beau Biden, the older son of Vice President Joe Biden, of a brain tumor at age 46, was not the first time that a President or Vice President has experienced the death of a family member while in office.

Presidents, including Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge and John F. Kennedy had also had the death of children while in office.

Presidents, including John Tyler, Benjamin Harrison, and Woodrow Wilson had wives die while in office.

But Beau Biden, while not a child, had come to be highly respected as Delaware Attorney General, and serving in the Army National Guard during the Iraq War.

Beau Biden resembled his dad in appearance, and in many ways, in his zeal to serve in public life.

Beau Biden gained the emotional support of many Delaware citizens and anyone else he touched in his public life, as well as people he knew in his private life.

The public response to his death, with the potential for his future lost forever, hit many Americans very hard, including this author, who thought of the tragic death of others in public service in their 40s, all of whom were much more consequential than Biden was. The names of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Alexander Hamilton crossed his mind.

The question that arose is why this shock and deep mourning occurred, and the author came to the conclusion that a lot of the reaction was due not only to the good nature and great public service of Beau Biden, but the widespread love and emotional attachment of millions of Americans to Vice President Joe Biden himself.

Joe Biden is in his 43rd year of public service, and it is not only this author, but millions of others who love him, who respect him, who admire his sincerity, genuine nature, true concern and desire to do good deeds for his fellow Americans.

Joe Biden is a very rare public servant, and that is why there are still millions who hope he runs for President, knowing the odds are against him to win the nomination, were he to challenge his close friend and fellow member of the Obama Administration, former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Those of us who love and admire Joe Biden know he would make a great President, but that he is one of many good people, past and present, who cannot, likely, be elected President of the United States, a distinguished list.

Instead, it now seems likely that Joe Biden will end his 44 years of public service in January 2017, with the total admiration and respect of millions. The loss of his beloved son, Beau, and his own sense that it might be wise to give his family time to share the rest of his time on earth at age 74, have certainly sobered any desire to fight for the White House.

In a sense, Joe Biden saw the eulogies and deep mourning that he will gain when, at some day in the future, he leaves us. The death of Beau Biden gave us that dress rehearsal!