Democratic Party

Earth Day, Richard Nixon, And Gaylord Nelson

Today is Earth Day, the annual day we dedicate to appreciation of the environment, a move pushed by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, often forgotten, and declared by President Richard Nixon in 1970 for the first time.

It seems like an eternity ago that we had Democrats and many Republicans agree that the environment was an important issue that had to be addressed, and we must give credit to Richard Nixon for having initiated Earth Day as a Presidential declaration 44 years ago.

Ironically, today is also the 20th anniversary of the death of Richard Nixon, a President who in many ways is one of the worst Chief Executives, but also is one of the best in other ways, including the establishment, with Democratic Congressional prodding, of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

How sad that today almost no Republicans are willing to see the significance of the environment, and the crisis of climate change, as the country and the world move toward environmental disaster!

Republican “Retreads” Emerge, Demonstrating The Sad State Of Their Presidential Race For 2016!

The Republican Party has a long list of potential Presidential candidates for 2016, many of them “new,” including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and even Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, who have never run before for President.

Then, they have the “retreads”, including Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, those three being a sorry lot as alternatives.

All three are way out of the mainstream of American politics, with Rick Perry making a total fool of himself in 2012; Mike Huckabee, once seen as fairly “moderate” in 2008, having converted into a right wing extremist due to his Fox News Channel weekly show; and Rick Santorum, well just a total embarrassment to himself and everyone around him!

The Republican Party is a sorry lot, with lots of candidates on the bench, but none having the slightest chance to become President!

Instead, the GOP looks completely past former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also former Ambassador to China and Singapore), the only solid, foreign policy experienced, sensible, mainstream candidate, who could attract support across the aisle, and make Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any other Democratic nominee squirm, as he did for awhile in the Barack Obama campaign in 2012, with them considering Huntsman a real threat.

Huntsman is sitting on the sidelines, and considering an independent run on a “No Labels” campaign, and reminding people that the Republican Party of the pre Ronald Reagan era is the only hope for a revival of GOP fortunes, as the country has passed by the anti immigrant, anti gay, anti women, anti labor, anti environment mentality of the Tea Party Movement, which may be able to win gerrymandered Congressional seats, but cannot win the US Senate majority or the White House anytime soon!

Widespread Sense Of Anger, Unhappiness, Discontent, Despondency In Electorate Favors Democrats!

Many political observers seem unaware of a widespread sense of anger, unhappiness, discontent, and despondency in the electorate, and fail to understand that this favors the Democrats, not the Republicans, in the midterm elections of 2014.

The Republican Party in the House of Representatives has produced the most horrible record of lack of achievement, lack of concern for the middle class and the poor, and has simply come across as a party of obstruction in the past four years.

While the Democrats have far from a perfect record, they have been the party to bring about a health care plan that is covering millions of people for the first time; have fought for an increase in the minimum wage; have argued for an extension of unemployment compensation for the long term unemployed; have battled to make sure that the food stamp program is not gutted for the poor, the elderly, the children, and the disabled; have promoted the need for infrastructure spending and education, including a solution for students heavily indebted; have defended the need for environmental protection; have backed the need for strong labor protections; have supported fair treatment for gays and lesbians, including marriage rights; and have worked for immigration reform in a fair and balanced way.

For those who are angry, unhappy, discontented, and despondent to sit on their hands and do nothing, and NOT vote in the midterm elections, both state and Congressional, would be the height of stupidity, as no change can come if people stay home.

So the job of Democrats is to come out of their shell, fight for what they believe in, be proud of what they have done and stood for, stand proud, and motivate those who usually do not vote, to do so this time, and give the Republicans a well deserved defeat in the House of Representatives, keep the Democrats in control of the US Senate, and work to defeat Republican “Bully” Governors elected in 2010, who have been a literal nightmare for the masses of people who are not wealthy, and not part of the one percent oligarchy which is taking over American politics in an alarming way, while the middle class and the poor sit on the sidelines, lacking motivation to react in their own self interest!

The Worst Governor In Florida History: Rick Scott!

Florida Governor Rick Scott may have gained less attention than other “Bully” Republican Governors elected in 2010, but he is, in many ways, the absolutely worst governor in America, and easily, the worst Governor Florida has ever had in modern history!

Florida has had some really outstanding Governors, including Leroy Collins (1955-1961); Reubin Askew (1971-1979); Bob Graham (1979-1987); Lawton Chiles (1991-1999); and Charlie Crist (2007-2011). Republican Governors Claude Kirk (1967-1971) and Bob Martinez (1987-1991) both lost re-election and were controversial. Jeb Bush (1999-2007) had his controversies, but did an excellent job dealing with eight hurricanes during his time in office.

Rick Scott came into office with the record of having paid a record fine for his Medicare corruption as the leader of the nation’s largest hospital chain, and should have gone to prison instead, for his misdeeds. He won the Governorship by only 50,000 votes, the smallest margin in Florida history.

Scott spent $73 million of his own money to get himself elected, despite a personality that was and is a turn off to most people who have any intelligence or compassion for others. It was an example of how backward Floridians were, that they would allow a convicted felon to become their Governor.

Scott has done massive damage on voting rights, privacy rights, public schools and higher education, environmental protection, and health care. His party controls three fourths of the seats in the legislature, and has taken Florida backwards at a time when it is about to become the third largest state in population.

Scott has made it harder for Florida citizens to vote; for those who are unemployed to gain unemployment compensation; for renters to avoid eviction; and made it easier for borrowers to be charged high interest rates on short term loans.

Scott has refused to accept Medicaid money for the poor, despite the fact that the federal government will pay all the costs for three years, and 90 percent after that. He fought ObamaCare tooth and nail, and still makes it difficult for citizens to apply for it.

Scott rejected federal money for high speed rail, while creating another state university, Florida Polytechnic University, which undermines the University of South Florida market for students. His administration spends less per public school student than when he took office, and promotes private charter schools over public schools. He has undermined respect for a liberal arts education, and teachers at all levels have been treated with disrespect by his education policies.

Scott has undermined the environment protections put into effect by his predecessors, and sees Florida as equivalent of a corporation that needs to be given freedom to abuse in every way possible, including health insurance rates, higher electric rates, and tax breaks for businesses that have not created the promised number of jobs.

Scott has demonstrated little concern for individual rights, wanting drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients; purging voter rolls, and restricting early voting. Luckily, there has been reaction against these ideas by courts, county elections supervisors, and the public.

The man has no compassion or empathy, and comes across as a cold, calculating individual, and it makes one wonder how Floridians could possibly consider him for a second term, but Scott is willing to spend whatever it takes to fool people, and to keep the vote numbers down by any means he can conjure up.

Scott gains less attention nationally than Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other “Bully” Governors, all of whom are considered Presidential possibilities, but IF Rick Scott is re-elected, do not be surprised if he tries to bring his corruption, mean spirit, callousness, and lack of empathy or compassion to a national campaign for President.

One might say, wait, there is already Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as potential candidates for President from Florida! The answer is: So What? Scott has never let ego or ethics get in his way in the past, and do not be surprised he might mount a national campaign if he defeats former Governor Charlie Crist, who has switched parties, and faces a massive challenge to be elected Governor as a Democrat, in a state with such a large Republican dominance in the state legislature!

The problem is that, even if Crist were to win, he is likely to face a hardline legislature, where only his veto might sometimes be effective, as Florida politics now represents one of the most backward agendas of any state, despite the fact that the state has nearly 20 million citizens, including many elderly, poor, sick, and disabled!

This is NOT a state where anyone who has a choice to move would decide to remain. YES, the weather is great, but the future for the elderly, the poor, the sick and the disabled, and for children in general, is gloomy!

Maryland, anyone?

The “Rising American Electorate”: The Bright Future For The Democratic Party!

The “Rising American Electorate”, the battleground groups for the future of American politics, insure a bright future for the Democratic Party, especially due to the Republican Party’s refusal to come to grips with these significant groups, who are being ignored, mistreated, insulted, and vilified by suicidal Republicans of the far Right!

Unmarried women, people of color, and young voters are clearly moving toward the Democratic Party, as the party to protect civil rights, to protect a woman’s right to choose on her reproductive life, and dealing with the reality of high economic stress among the young, and the need to create jobs, build infrastructure, and promote education, as the way to create a bright American future for the younger generation of the future.

There are more than ten million unmarried women; 6.5 million African Americans; 3.8 million Latinos; and 10 million young voters, and they all made a difference in the victory of Barack Obama in 2012. As long as a substantial number of these groups turn out in the midterm elections, the danger to the Democrats on a potential loss of the Senate can be averted.

Barack Obama is making his pitch to these groups, and they need to see that a Republican takeover of the Senate would undermine their futures. The “pocketbook” futures of these groups demand that they not be allowed to overlook the importance of voting in the midterm elections. If they do, they are only hurting themselves, as well as the party that is standing up for them.

Republicans, The Lincoln Lie, And Rand Paul’s Ambitions For President In 2016

The Republican Party loves to claim a connection to Abraham Lincoln, even though they have totally repudiated everything he stands for.

They honor his memory, particularly now on the 149th Anniversary of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. But they favor states rights, nullification, and support back tracking on civil rights, all of which the Confederate and Border South advocated when they were Democrats, and now when they are Republicans, and control most seats in Congress and most state legislatures in those states.

But when seeking the Presidency, these Southern and Border state Republicans have no problem in trying to appeal to groups they have been working against.

A great example is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, known for his doubts about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and about overseas military bases and involvement in world affairs.

Suddenly, while in New Hampshire appealing for support for President, he expresses concern for groups that have been totally ignored by his party, including African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, women, and poor people, although there is no evidence of a real transformation.

And now he is no longer willing to condemn Dick Cheney and the Iraq War, and backs away from his isolationist views of the past, and that must make his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, wince!

It is clear that Rand Paul is a total charlatan, a phony, who cannot be believed or trusted, either the “old” libertarian Rand Paul, or the newer, transformed model, to be our President!

The Midterm Elections: Far From Settled Results This Early!

After the Democratic Party started to panic over predictions of the likelihood of a debacle this coming November, it became clear that it is far from certain that the Senate will be lost, although one can certainly concede the loss of seats, and the fact that the change in House seats might be a few, but not a dramatic difference! In fact, with the reality of total gridlock in the House, and the worst legislative record under Speaker John Boehner in modern history, the Democrats might gain a few seats, although not likely to have a majority, as now projected.

The Republican Party needs to gain 6 seats in the Senate to have control, and while there are many Democratic seats up, and a lot of Democrats are retiring, that is still not a sign of GOP success, as they are very good at self destruction, and are on that road again.

The Tea Party Movement is certain to cause the loss of some traditional conservatives in the Senate, and to increase the chances of defeating a few GOP senators, to overcome the fact that there are more Democratic seats in contention.

And again, even if both houses are Republican, by 2016, the Senate is sure to be won back, and the House might go Democratic with a strong Presidential candidate heading the ticket, such as Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden!

The long term prognosis for the Republican Party is gloomy, while the long term prognosis for the Democrats is excellent!

The Dangers Of The Supreme Court Run Amuck In Favor Of Wealthy And Corporations!

The Supreme Court is totally out of control, with its new decision on having no limits on campaign spending by wealthy donors, added on to the Citizens United Case of 2010, and the limitation of voting rights in a 2013 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified a five member GOP majority to destroy all attempts to prevent corporate and wealthy people from controlling the political system, an effort pursued from the time of Theodore Roosevelt a century ago through Senator John McCain and Senator Russ Feingold in the 1990s and early 2000s.

That is all for naught now, and shows the dangers of a runaway, reckless, right wing radical Court!

This is what made Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama criticize Court power, along with progressive reformers including Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Senator George Norris of Nebraska, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

This is the result of 13 Supreme Court nominees since 1960 by Republican Presidents, to only 8 by Democrats, and with two of those Democratic appointments (Arthur Goldberg by John F. Kennedy and Abe Fortas by Lyndon B. Johnson), only lasting three and four years respectively.

Of course, Republican appointments of Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush, turned out to be major surprises in their rulings, but we also ended up with some of the most reactionary and right wing radical appointments in all of American history with the appointments of William Rehnquist by Richard Nixon and the elevation of Rehnquist to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan; Lewis Powell by Richard Nixon; Antonin Scalia by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito by George W. Bush. The appointments of Chief Justice Warren Burger by Richard Nixon; Anthony Kennedy by Ronald Reagan; and Chief Justice John Roberts by George W. Bush, have been more of a mixed bag, sometimes good, and sometimes horrible in its effect on constitutional law!

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy selected a mostly conservative Justice Byron White; Lyndon B Johnson selected Thurgood Marshall; Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, but sadly, their influence in the last four of the five names listed, has been mostly in being the opposition, sometimes vehement in nature!

The effect on the future of American democracy is massive, with this right wing Court majority, and the only hope is the eventual retirement of Scalia and Kennedy, and hopefully, continuation of a Democratic Senate and President for the rest of the decade, so that the Court changes direction in the future!

Paul Ryan Out To Destroy Medicare And Social Security

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan may be the new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2015, if the Republicans keep control of the House of Representatives!

This is another reason to work to acquire the 17 seats needed for the Democrats to gain control.

Ryan, having a nice inheritance and a wife whose family has money, does not need to worry about the future, as most Americans do.

He is now proposing that Medicare be voluntary for those under 55, endangering the health care of those people who decide to opt out, and then, when elderly, have inferior health care. Those ignorant people who do what Ryan suggests would be given a voucher, which would not cover all health care when retired.

This is similar to the idea of George W. Bush to make Social Security voluntary for those under 55, and allow them to put their funds in the stock market, which collapsed in 2008!

So Ryan, like President Bush, wants people to gamble, and in so doing, help to destroy Medicare and Social Security!

If the funding is removed, it insures the demise of the LBJ and FDR signature programs that have made America a better place!

Is that surprising, when the GOP has set out to destroy ObamaCare, the third part of this great set of social programs, what makes America a place equal to the advanced social reforms of Europe and Japan?

The Republicans Do NOT Understand Their Destructive Public Image!

The Republican Party clearly does not get how horrible their public image is, and that the only way they can gain control of the Senate and keep the House of Representatives is to promote fear, hatred, hysteria, and encourage ignorance among those groups which are harmed by their rhetoric and policies!

The GOP stands now for voter suppression, of African Americans, Latinos, young people, the elderly, poor people, making it harder for all these groups to be able to vote, with all kinds of methods and manipulation, reminiscent of the old Southern Democrats, but now not only in the South but nationwide. They know that they cannot win unless they prevent people from voting, and the Republican Governors have no shame as they work to undermine the 15th Amendment to the Constitution!

Also, there is no shame in Republican Governors and other Republicans in Washington, willing to work with billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, to undermine American democracy by kowtowing to these wealthy, privileged oligarchs and autocrats, and working to harm women, labor, the environment, gays and lesbians, racial minorities, and poor people in their quest for absolute dominance over our government for their own selfish purposes!

One would think that the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson and others have much more in assets and fortune than anyone could ever need in a lifetime, or even give to their heirs, but their selfishness, greed, obsession with money, is so deep that they have no sense of propriety, no sense of ethics, no sense of morality, and do not even feel ashamed of their behavior!

How can Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich and other Republican Governors or former Governors, along with Senate and House Republicans, considering the idea of running for President, not be embarrassed by their open begging for financial support from these corrupt billionaires? They are ready to sell their souls for power, in such an open and outrageous manner, that one wonders how any thinking, intelligent American could possibly vote for and believe in them as a potential President of the United States!

The Republicans, by their own behavior and public image, are self destructing, and they seem unable to, or unaware of, the damage they are doing, which will be part of the story in the future of how the GOP disappeared as a legitimate alternative, representing the dinosaur of a declining white population, coupled with a younger generation becoming much more Democratic than many observers are willing to acknowledge!