Democratic Party

Republicans Declare War On National Parks: Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, And Others Turning Over In Their Graves!

It is hard to conceive, but the 2015 Republican Party has declared war on America’s national park system, wishing to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and other kinds of natural resource exploitation in our national treasure, our public lands!

A bill has been introduced to prevent any future President, along with President Barack Obama, to create any more national parks, a bill which will gain the Presidential veto if it were to pass both houses!

Fortunately, there would be no possibility of a two thirds override of the Presidential veto, as any such banning of additional national parks would be a war on the environment, and a sin against nature!

This attack on nature and conservation would cause the turning over in their graves of President Theodore Roosevelt, National Forestry Service head Gifford Pinchot (under the TR Presidency), as well as a multitude of Republicans similar to those two party members, as well as Democrats, and all decent, caring citizens. It would also cause dismay among Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, all who added greatly to our national parks.

Barack Obama is adding wide swaths of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the national parks, even with opposition from Alaska politicians, including Senator Lisa Murkowksi, who is catering to the oil and gas interests over preserving the last great area of untouched nature.

This is yet another reason why no Republican can be allowed to be elected President, as with a Republican controlled Congress, we would be on the precipice of a disaster of massive proportions, and that cannot be allowed to occur!

“Swing” States Becoming Fewer Every Election: Locking In Electoral Votes!

The number of “Swing” states in a Presidential election are becoming fewer in each four year cycle, and locking in the Electoral College outcome, to a much greater extent than ever before.

At this point, for the 2016 Presidential Election, it can be said there are ONLY ten states that are truly up for grabs, barring some unforeseen events:

These states are:
Florida
Ohio
Virginia
North Carolina
New Hampshire
Iowa
Indiana
Colorado
New Mexico
Nevada

Even these ten states are not truly ten, as North Carolina for now is more likely to go Republican; New Hampshire and Iowa are more likely to go Democratic; Indiana is more likely to go Republican; and New Mexico is almost certainly Democratic!

So only Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada are truly “swing’ states for 2016, and most of the campaigning in the general election period will be in those five states, plus the other five more certain to be in one political camp over the other.

The Northeast and New England, with the exception of New Hampshire, are locked up for the Democrats, as are the Upper Midwest and Illinois, and the three Pacific Coast states and Hawaii!

The Great Plains states, the Mountain West except for the three states mentioned above, and the South, with the exceptions of the three states mentioned above, and West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Alaska seem locked up for the Republicans, making for more states than the Democrats, but many of them low electoral vote states. And when Texas and Georgia evolve, with more Hispanic-Latino voters in the next decade, the Electoral College will be locked up for the Democrats for the long haul, unless the GOP can convince many states’ voters to swing over from the Democrats, highly unlikely!

The move to allow states to vote by congressional district, as is so in Nebraska and Maine in theory, if it spreads to major states, such as Pennsylvania, where it has been proposed, COULD change the whole dynamic, and make for a much more competitive Electoral College race in the future!

Barack Obama Calls For Paid Sick Leave For All Workers: Long Overdue!

The United States is the only advanced Western nation that does not guarantee all workers the right to paid sick leave, an outrageous situation, but Barack Obama is challenging Congress to rectify the situation!

This includes low paid workers primarily, and restaurant and other food workers are the major group, and by not giving them paid sick leave, it endangers the general public, when these kinds of workers are doing their jobs while sick, and often contagious!

This should be a basic human right, and part of human dignity, that when one is sick, he or she should not be mixing with the population that could up spreading disease.

And also, the paid sick leave should allow workers to take off paid time to help sick parents, sick children, or a sick partner, as family responsibilities are part of life for all of us.

The Republicans, of course, oppose this, but Obama is correct in pushing this idea, and putting the GOP on the spot, as unconcerned about the welfare of workers, which we know, of course, is reality.

This should become a key issue for the Democrats in the 2016 Presidential election!

Obama’s State Of The Union: A Liberated President Making The Democratic Values Case!

Barack Obama is finally liberated as he began his seventh year in the Presidency on the sixth anniversary of his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.

Obama made an appeal to the opposition Republicans to cooperate and work together, but he also made clear he was going to charge ahead on a list of goals that are a marker for the next Democratic Presidential nominee and the Presidential Election of 2016.

He called for infrastructure spending; free community college tuition; child care tax credits; paid leave for workers; immigration reform; effective regulation of gun purchases; tax cuts for the middle class; tax increases on the wealthy and large financial institutions; pointed out the greatest economic success and growth since 1999; threatened use of the veto when necessary; called for authorization of force against ISIL (ISIS); called for action on climate change; used the term transgender in his call for fair treatment of gays and lesbians; called for more support in dealing with improved relations with Cuba; emphasized the need to fight against anti semitism, but also try to come up with a nuclear agreement with Iran; and work to avoid more troops on the ground overseas.

Much of this agenda will not be accomplished, but sets a goal line for the future.

Meanwhile, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa surprised many observers by NOT totally falling on her face in her Republican response to the State of the Union address, but her speech was mainly platitudes and folksiness, not substantial alternatives to what Obama proposed, but rather a condemnation of what Obama has done, particularly ObamaCare. She also did not speak on such important issues as climate change, immigration, foreign policy, and helping working families, but then, the Republicans always stand in the way of progress on so many issues, so it is not surprising that her speech was lacking.

Iowa Freshman Republican Senator Joni Ernst To Give Response To Obama State Of The Union Address: What A Comedy Routine It Will Likely Be!

One of the nuttiest, wackiest new Republicans in the new 114th Congress has been compared to former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Governor Saran Palin.

That is Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who, like Bachmann and Palin, has a great personal appearance, but it is clear that she, like Bachmann and Palin, has very little brain matter upstairs.

This woman acted in a goofy way when she accepted victory in the Iowa Senate race against Congressman Bruce Braley in November. She has spouted Tea Party values, which promote taking us backward and are narrow minded and intolerant. It will be interesting to see how she presents herself tonight, as the Republican response to the State of the Union address of President Obama.

She is an extremely poor replacement for Iowa’s distinguished former Senator Tom Harkin, who was one of the bright lights in the Senate, and sought the Presidency on the Democratic side in the 1992 Presidential race, with this blogger being in support of his candidacy, as the best person in that race.

Despite losing that competition, Harkin served for 30 exceptional years in the US Senate, and Iowa has made a mistake in electing this lightweight woman to be his replacement.

Watching her deliver the response to the State of The Union Address on Tuesday night will, likely, be entertaining, a comedy routine that will likely be repeated on Saturday Night Live, and joked about on Bill Maher’s show on HBO.

It is great to have more women in the Senate and House of Representatives, but somehow, the GOP seems incapable of getting bright, intelligent women to run for public office, as compared to those women who run on the Democratic line. This is a tragedy of major proportions!

Supreme Court Accepts Same Sex Marriage Case: The Final Push For Marriage Equality Has Arrived!

The Supreme Court has finally accepted a same sex marriage case, to be argued in April, and decided by the end of June!

This will be a blockbuster case, coming at a time when 36 states already allow gay marriage, and the final push for marriage equality has finally arrived!

While there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of same sex marriage, it is hard to conceive of the Court rejecting it at a time when all but 14 states have accepted it, as the momentum is clearly in favor of acceptance.

Beyond that, the odds are good that at least five members of the present Court would support it, enough to bring it about, but it would be desirable if the vote was greater than that thin margin.

Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, all Democratic appointments of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, are seen as assured votes.

Ronald Reagan appointee Anthony Kennedy is the typical “swing” vote, and has supported gay rights in the past, and most particularly, in the case of Lawrence V. Texas in 2003, so it is expected he will go the same direction again.

But there is a chance that Chief Justice John Roberts could join the majority, and some observers imagine that Samuel Alito could join, also.

And even some think that Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, seeing the handwriting on the wall, might join and make it unanimous, which would be the most fantastic situation imaginable!

Imagine the extremist Christian Right bigots, and conservatives and Republicans, and how they will, figuratively, commit suicide if the Court rules in favor of same sex marriage!

It will transform the Presidential Election of 2016, as how could any Republican nominee come out and condemn the Court, and run on some crazy idea that he would lead a movement to overcome the Supreme Court decision?

Just the thought that many Republicans, including those running for President, will be squirming in public, is a source of delight, as human rights wins out once again!

Crowdpac Website Traces All Potential Presidential Candidates On Issues, Determining How Liberal Or Conservative They Really Are!

This blogger just discovered a great website that he wishes to pass on to his readership.

It is www.crowdpac.com, a site which researches and compares potential Presidential candidates of both parties on their issue positions, as well as seeing how they perform in the multitude of polls; check on their political donors; and try to judge if they are of the right qualities to be President of the United States.

The comparison as to how liberal or conservative they are is the most fascinating, and a total of 7 Democrats and 17 Republicans are assessed and evaluated.

So, in a broad sense, the 7 Democrats are seen as most liberal to least liberal in the following order:

Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Hillary Clinton
Martin O’Malley
Andrew Cuomo
Jim Webb
Joe Biden

And the 17 Republicans are seen as most conservative to least conservative in the following order:

Rand Paul
Ted Cruz
Scott Walker
Mike Pence
Dr. Benjamin Carson
Rick Perry
Marco Rubio
Mike Huckabee
Carly Fiorina
Bobby Jindal
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum
John Kasich
Rick Snyder
Jeb Bush
Jon Huntsman
Chris Christie

This ranking can be discussed and analyzed in detail over time, as events transform views of these potential Presidential candidates, but at this point, already, there are surprises!

Joe Biden comes across as the most centrist Democrat, which COULD give him a boost.

Chris Christie is the most centrist Republican, more than Jon Huntsman? That is a surprise! But Jeb Bush and John Kasich also comes across as quite centrist, along with comparatively unknown, and not seen as a serious candidate, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan. And Carly Fiorina, the failed Senate candidate against Barbara Boxer in California in 2010,and often a commentator now on CNN, suddenly is on the list, and could be the only woman Republican candidate for President, even though her career is totally corporate, never having served in public office!

Crowdpac looks like a site that will often be utilized by this blogger and by other political junkies!

The Republican Presidential Race Is In Full Swing, Even Without Formal Announcements!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has stirred up a hornet’s nest, simply by indicating that he is considering seeking the Presidency, and taking the first steps in that direction.

Suddenly, we saw the reaction, including:

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee resigning from his Fox News Channel Sunday evening show

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee, indicating he is seriously considering running for President for a third time, encouraging financial supporters, and making known that his wife Anne is on board.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, making clear his intention to run, and attacking rivals Mike Huckabee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and even attacking Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who Santorum said he doubts will actually run for President. The language utilized by Santorum against these rivals was to call them “bomb throwers”, as if he has, himself, not been exactly that throughout his political career.

In the wings are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, as well as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (Mitt Romney’s running mate for Vice President in 2012).

The Presidential race has two components: the mainstream “establishment” race of Bush, Romney and Christie; and the Tea Party right wing race of the others; with Walker and Ryan possibly joining the mainstream “establishment” race, if they actually enter the fray.

And as I write, Donald Trump has hinted he plans to enter the race, only adding to the drama and, also, comedy, that will be present in the race!

The potential for 12 or more candidates getting in the race are good, and the gloves are starting to come off, and it should be a very interesting race, but on the way to defeat in 2016 to the Democratic nominee, most likely Hillary Clinton at this point, but really any Democrat having the edge in the Electoral College battle that decides the Presidency!

The Politics Of Genuine Personality: Few And Far Between!

To find a politician past or present who was a genuine personality, a REAL person, who gave or gives a damn about the American people, not his or her own agenda, has always been difficult, and the list of national leaders who fit this description, are, indeed, few and far between!

There is so much cynicism about politics, and the thought that there are no decent political leaders, who truly care about the welfare of their constituents and the betterment of the nation is common, BUT there are politicians who, through their actions and words, have proved how genuine they really are!

A selected list of such political leaders follows:

Senator Robert LaFollette Sr. of Wisconsin (1906-1925) (R) (Progressive)

Senator George Norris of Nebraska (1913-1933) (R)

Senator Robert Wagner, Sr. of New York (1927-1949) (D)

Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota (1949-1964, 1971-1978) also Vice President (1965-1969) (D)

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota (1963-1981) (D)

Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota (1991-2002) (D)

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin (1993-2011) (D)

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (2007- ) (Socialiat)

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (2013- ) (D)

Senator Joe Biden (1973-2009) also Vice President (2009- ) (D)

The Last Of The Moderate Progressive Republican Senators Of The 1960s And 1970s Passes Away: Edward Brooke Of Massachusetts!

News of the death of former Massachusetts Republican Senator Edward Brooke (1967-1979) yesterday, marks the end of the group of moderate progressive Republican Senators of the 1960s and 1970s, who worked with Democrats across the aisle, and made the Republican Party a mainstream party with a conservative majority, but reputable and dignified moderate progressives who added distinction to the party’s history.

Brooke, the first popularly elected African American Senator in American history, served two terms of distinction, and promoted civil rights, the legalization of abortion, closer relations with China, and opposed Richard Nixon much of the time on his Supreme Court appointments and on the Watergate scandal. He worked to promote aid to the poor and to the cities of the country, and spoke up for the end of the Vietnam War.

Brooke was one of a small, admirable group of Republicans, no longer found on Capitol Hill, where the word “moderate” or “progressive” is now a dirty word. It was easy to praise Brooke, along with Maryland Senator Charles Mathias, Illinois Senator Charles Percy, and Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield, who all added greatly to the distinction of the Senate!

Will the Republican Party ever have men of the distinction of these four Senators, and others who started earlier in the Senate, including Jacob Javits of New York, and Clifford Case of New Jersey? Right now, that seems highly unlikely, as the Senators mentioned above would be called RINOS (Republicans In Name Only) by the present mentality in the Republican Party!