Democratic Party

Presidential Succession Law Of 1886-1947 Needs To Be Renewed!

In 1947, the Republican controlled 80th Congress, in a fit of partisanship and anti FDR sentiment, changed the Presidential Succession Law of 1886, enacted during the first term of President Grover Cleveland.

That law made the succession for the Presidency beyond the Vice President to be as follows: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General, and then other cabinet agencies, including Interior and Agriculture.

That law made sense, as it meant that in case of tragedy hitting the President and Vice President, that members of  that President’s cabinet, people loyal to him, knowledgeable in  foreign and defense policies, and domestic policies, would be next in  line, in case of an emergency.

But the Republicans after World War II were furious that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected four times, so not only added the 22nd Amendment, limiting any future President to two elected term, or a maximum of ten years if he succeeded during a term, but also decided to make the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate second and third in line behind the Vice President.  That, of course, meant, that if anything had happened to President Harry Truman, and with no Vice President for the remainder of that term of office, that Speaker Joseph Martin, a Republican, would have succeeded him.

The idea of having the opposition party gain the Presidency during a term due to a tragedy was not based on what was good for the nation, but pure partisanship by the GOP.

But now, the extremism in the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement right wing whackos, makes the idea of John Boehner, or some other Republican gaining power of the executive branch under a Democratic administration totally reprehensible, as that would mean a dramatic turn to the far Right, although the people voted in a Democratic administration.  Also, the President pro tempore of the Senate, a position which is honorary based on seniority in the majority party in the Senate, brings the danger, not only of partisanship, but also the reality of a very old Senator, unfit to serve, being third in line for the Presidency, and at the time of Truman, second in line to be President!

That is why there is a need to repeal the 1947 law and return to the 1886 law, which makes the most sense, as the Speaker of the House, while elected, is only chosen by one Congressional district out of 435, and is therefore NOT representative of the nation, as much as a cabinet member, selected by the President but subject to Senate confirmation, is representative of the policies and ideals of the elected President!

The likelihood of this happening short term is near zero, but it is worthy of consideration for the near future!

37 Days To The Extremely Important Midterm Elections Of 2014!

With the crisis of ISIL (ISIS) having emerged as the most dangerous threat to America since September 11, 2001, and with this being the greatest world crisis since World War II, it is now 37 days to the extremely important Midterm Elections of 2014, both in foreign and domestic policy!

We need cooperation on the foreign policy front between Congress and the President, but that is unlikely if the GOP wins control of the Senate, even if they are still able to hold on to control in the House of Representatives!

Such a scenario will undermine the war effort, and the need to deal with many domestic issues, that are desperately in need of attention!

The possible appointment of a Supreme Court Justice before the next Presidential election, and of a new Attorney General in the next few months is riding on the ability of the Democrats to keep control of the US Senate, which thankfully, seems highly likely right now!

The ability to bring about immigration reform; to protect the environment; to gain funding for infrastructure projects; to see further advancements in civil rights; to promote support for those who are in poverty to have a higher minimum wage, extension of unemployment compensation and expansion of Medicaid; to promote equal pay legislation for women; and so many other initiatives, is hanging in the balance!

It is urgent that those who believe in progressive reforms must get out the vote, and make people who are apathetic voters realize the importance of their voting, and not just for Congressional elections, but also for state governors and state legislatures, as we have seen much evidence of the damage done by Tea Party Republican Governors on so many issues!

The 113th Congress, Worst In Modern History, Refuses To Take Responsibility, And Enact A Resolution Backing War Against ISIL (ISIS)!

The 113th Congress is a disgrace, having passed fewer bills than ever in modern history; refusing to cooperate on anything with President Barack Obama, and now unwilling to take action to back the President with a formal war resolution against ISIL (ISIS) in the period leading up to the Midterm Elections, and even in the lame duck period after the election and until the 114th Congress convenes in January!

This is a disgrace, as it is the job of Congress to work with the President on war issues, and all they care about is campaigning, and keeping their jobs, with the great salary and benefits!

Since the Speaker of the House, John Boehner,  controls the calendar, the Republicans are to blame for ignoring the responsibilities of Congress to the American people!

If the people had sense, they would kick the GOP out of House control and insure the return of a Democratic majority in the US Senate!

Quandary Over Progressives Opposing Military Action Against ISIL (ISIS)

The Senate vote last week authorizing aid to the Syrian rebels fighting ISIL (ISIS) was a strange vote, bipartisan, which is rare, but 22 Senators of both parties voting NO!

This included such progressive Democrats as Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.  It also included Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

On the other hand, it included Republicans such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, all Tea Party types.

The first list of seven Progressive Democrats and one Independent is highly respected by this author and blogger, and it makes him pause in his own support of the concept of starting a war against Islamic terrorism, what he sees as the beginning of World War III!

Of course, other Progressive Democrats DID support the majority vote, and it makes one wonder who is right, and who will be judged as correct by history, and it could affect the Presidential Election of 2016 and beyond, as, for instance, Hillary Clinton backing the Iraq War can be, and has been used, against her, and could be a problem in 2016!

These are difficult times, and we face a crisis of massive proportions, and trying to figure out what is best for the nation puts one in torment daily!

The Tea Party Out To Destroy All Progress Since 1900! Progressives MUST Fight To Retain Social Justice And Economic Advancements!

America has changed so much in the past 114 years, from the time of the Progressive Era, through the New Deal, the Great Society, and the time of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

America at the end of the Gilded Age was a selfish, greedy nation of the few elite wealthy victimizing the rest of American society.

But then came Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on big business; showing concern for labor; promoting the Food and Drug Administration; and vastly extending the concept of protection of the environment and conservation.

Then came Woodrow Wilson, who gave us the Federal Reserve Banking System; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; the Federal Trade Commission; and the first national labor laws.

Then came Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, changing our lives long term with Social Security; public works programs; bank deposit insurance; stock market regulations; the Tennessee Valley Authority; Federal Unemployment Compensation; and labor laws which gave workers and labor unions the right to collective bargaining.

Then came Harry Truman, who promoted integration of the armed forces and Washington, DC; advocated for national health care; and emphasized the need for national commitment to education.

Then came Dwight D. Eisenhower, who enforced civil rights enforcement; promoted federal aid to education; the development of an interstate highway system; and the development of a national space commitment.

Then came John F. Kennedy, who advanced civil rights; promoted the space program; started the Peace Corps; cracked down on the steel industry;  and advocated national health care for the elderly.

Then came Lyndon B. Johnson, who promoted massive civil rights laws; successfully passed Medicare and Medicaid; pursued a War on Poverty; massive increases in federal aid to education; began a national commitment to environmental and consumer legislation; and appointed the first African American to the cabinet and to the Supreme Court.

Then came Richard Nixon, who signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and attempted wage and price controls to keep down the inflation level.

Then came Jimmy Carter, who further promoted civil rights; saw the need for an Energy Department; and became the third best environmental President after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Then came George H. W. Bush, who signed into law civil rights legislation to promote disabled people.

Then came Bill Clinton, who promoted civil rights advancements; a greater commitment to education; and attempted a national health care program.

Finally came Barack Obama, who brought about ObamaCare; promoted great environmental expansion; advocated for equality of gays and lesbians including gay marriage; and started to take moves toward immigration reforms.

So much has been done by these twelve Presidents to advance social justice, and economic reform—eight Democrats and four Republicans.

But now, the 2014 Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party extremists and the right wing radio talk shows and Fox News Channel and the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and they have declared war on all humane, decent actions that have taken place in the past 114 years, including advocacy of destroying Social Security and Medicare and getting rid of national parks and all labor reforms and the rights of women and the poor!

This is all very shocking and unbelievable, but the battle for progressivism and the retention of the great work done from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama must be forthright and the battle for the future has just begun.  The Republican Party needs to be smashed and reconstituted, if the nation is to grow in the 21st century, rather than move backwards to the 19th century!

Barack Obama Success Versus The Public Opinion Polls

Barack Obama has been the most successful President in economic affairs in modern times, surpassing Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

So says the conservative journal FORBES, and who is to argue with them coming up with this conclusion?

Obama has presided over the greatest stock market growth in American history, but also has seen tremendous economic expansion and creation of jobs not seen since the Clinton Administration.

Of course, unemployment is still 6.1 percent and many people have dropped out of the job market, and unemployment compensation has not been extended.

And of course, the minimum wage has not been increased, and should be, if based on the cost of living, would be triple what it is now–$7.25 an hour!

Infrastructure spending is essential, but has been prevented by the Republican Party.

The point is that despite the inherited Great Recession, Barack Obama has done miracles on the economy, and has succeeded in killing more Muslim terrorists than anyone else, including Osama Bin Laden and Libya’s dictator, Muamarr Gaddafi.

And yet, despite all this and much more, recent public opinion polls show a low point in the 30s for Obama, including one third disillusioned Democrats.

But it is clear that these polls are not to be relied on or believed, and it is obvious that those polled do not understand what has happened, and are clueless as to public affairs, and are more reacting to the right wing attacks on Obama, rather than using their own intellectual abilities.  It is scary how a large portion of the nation is ignorant, and ill informed!

The Intriguing Greg Orman, Independent Candidate For US Senate In Kansas

The most intriguing Senate race in 2014 suddenly becomes that of Kansas, a “red state”, which has not elected a Democrat since the Great Depression!

The Democratic nominee has dropped out, leaving Senator Pat Roberts with only an independent candidate, Greg Orman, a very appealing candidate, who has voted both Democratic and Republican in the past, including for Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, and wants to make Washington DC work.

Orman is frustrated with inability of Congress to work, and he pledges that he will join the Senate caucus of the party that he believes is more attuned to change after the midterm elections, and that makes it likely he would become the third Independent Senator, along with Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine.

Orman has a real chance to win the seat now, and this would almost certainly guarantee that the Senate would remain Democratic, as Roberts’  seat seemed safe before now.

So this will be the most watched race of all, more than Mitch McConnell in Kentucky!

The Odyssey Of Charlie Crist

Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist of Florida is attempting a comeback to the Governorship, this time as a Democrat, after having left the GOP in 2010, running as an Independent for the US Senate, which he also ran for as a Republican in 1998.

This is the most important race for the Governorship, as Florida is the largest state to have a truly competitive race for Governor or Senator, as California and New York are “Blue”, and Texas is “Red”.

This is also a rare case of a Governor switching parties and winning on the other party line, only five times before in American history, and also a rare race of a former Governor against the sitting Governor who replaced  him, with Rick Scott being his opponent.

Crist is seen by many as a chameleon, a person who is untrustworthy and slick and good at manipulation, but also he is extremely charismatic, a great orator, very handsome with his white hair, and someone hard not to like on a personal level, while Scott is none of these attributes, and is seen by many as totally crooked, with his Medicare scams that he paid millions of dollars in fines, but avoided prison time, which many think he should have served!

It is ironic that Charlie Crist was on the short list of Senator John McCain for Vice President in 2008, and now, if he wins the Governorship of the fourth largest state, and a crucial swing state for 2016, it is conceivable that he could be the Vice Presidential running mate of Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, or really, almost any Democratic Presidential nominee.

And of course, were something to go wrong, he could be President of the United States by succession, or even being the nominee in four to eight years after 2016 for the Presidency, after having served as Vice President of the United States!

What an interesting odyssey for Charlie Crist, and the future is there for much more, if he is able to come back as Florida Governor!

60 Days To Midterm Elections Of 2014, And Republicans On The Run!

Two months from now, the Midterm Elections of 2014 will occur, and at this point, the Republican Party is, rightfully, on the run!

They have demonstrated that they are only interested in obstruction, and to undermine any possibility of progress on crucial domestic issues, and unwilling to support Barack Obama on the massive challenges this nation faces in foreign policy!

The odds of a Republican Senate seem more unlikely, and  now Kansas offers the possibility of an Independent winning, and allying with the Democrats, bringing about the first non Republican Senator from that state since the Great Depression.

It also looks more likely that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be forcibly retired, and we could end up with just about the same number of Democrats and Independents in the Senate, presently 55.

Republican Governors are also running scared, as with Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Paul LePage in Maine, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.  Rick Scott in Florida,  and Nathan Deal in Georgia, therefore insuring a gain in Democratic Governors nationwide.

Disillusionment with the Republicans is obvious, and they are running scared, and they offer no real alternative, except negativism, and the Tea Party Movement has harmed their brand, an embarrassment to their history!

Why Joe Biden Will Run For President!

Vice President Joe Biden is often ridiculed by critics for his verbal gaffes, but Joe Biden is the real article!

Joe Biden has a wealth of experience, 44 years in government by 2016, and NO ONE matches that!

Joe Biden gets along well with Congress, and is, in many ways, similar to Lyndon B. Johnson in ability to get things done, including for Barack Obama. At the same time, he is NOT the gross individual that LBJ often demonstrated, much more classy on a personal level.

Joe Biden is charming, charismatic, and well liked personally, all of which LBJ was not! He knows how to communicate to the American people, and to get people to listen and notice!

Joe Biden is dynamic as a speaker, still looks handsome in his early 70s, and is so correct in many of his judgments about foreign policy, and except for Hillary Clinton and Jon Huntsman, no one else has the credentials in world affairs.

Joe Biden is sincere, genuine, and real, and how many politicians are that?

Joe Biden is, clearly, running for President, and his rousing speech on Labor Day shows that, as he is the man of labor, the man of the common man, the average guy who goes to work every day and just wants a leader who gives a damn about him and his aspirations!

Joe Biden has been raising money quietly, and visiting states and garnering support from people who know he is the man who has always been there for them.

His odds, if Hillary Clinton decides, ultimately, to run are long, but Joe Biden has never been afraid of a challenge, as when he had an aneurysm in 1987, that might have killed a less courageous man.

And if Hillary surprises us and does not run, Joe Biden will be the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and while others might challenge him, do not bet on him losing, if that scenario occurs.

Joe Biden has been underrated for years, but he is someone that you ignore at your own peril, as he is always in the forefront on domestic and foreign policy issues!

And one scenario that would unify the Democrats, even those who have doubts about Hillary Clinton, due to her connections to Wall Street, and her “hawkish” views on foreign policy, is to run Joe Biden for an unprecedented third term as Vice President!

Now that would be some dynamite team, Hillary and Joe together, and it would be unbeatable against any Republican opponent in 2016, even though that opponent, almost certainly, would be quite a bit younger than Hillary and Joe! But the experience of Hillary and Joe are unmatchable!