Diane Feinstein

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

The Year Of Democratic Women On The Ballot Coming In 2018: Ten Incumbents And Two Seeking Election To The US Senate

In the midterm Congressional elections of 2018, a total of 12 Democratic women will be on the ballot for the US Senate, with 10 coming up for reelection and two making major challenges against Republicans in Arizona and Nevada.

Altogether, there are 16 Democratic women in the US Senate in 2017, so all but six are facing reelection battles.

This includes women in Trump won states—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.

Additionally, in Hillary Clinton won states, the following Democratic women are up for reelection–Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, Diane Feinstein in California, Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, Maria Cantwell in Washington State, and Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota.

Jacky Rosen is competing for the Nevada Senate seat against most endangered Republican Senator Dean Heller, and Kyrsten Sinema is trying to win the Senate seat of Jeff Flake, who is not running for reelection in Arizona.

The odds for both Rosen and Sinema are seen as good, and could tip the balance of the US Senate, but only if the other women, particularly in Trump won states, are able to overcome their disadvantage.

Therefore, while all of the Democratic women except Heidi Heitkamp are backed by the pro choice Emily’s List organization, it is important NOT to have a litmus test for Heitkamp, who while supportive of Trump about 51 percent of the time, still supports many Democratic Party goals, although she is not truly pro choice on abortion. If we want purity, then the Senate will be lost, as such a Senator as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also running for reelection, is not any more pro choice than Heitkamp. The party needs to be more inclusive if it is to win and keep control of the US Senate in the future.

If Joe Arpaio Ran For US Senate, He Would Be Oldest First Term Elected Senator At Age 86 And Seven And A Half Months!

Donald Trump is suggesting that former Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, just pardoned by Trump, run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate against Republican critic Senator Jeff Flake next year in Arizona.

Whether Arpaio would actually take such a step is unsettled, and it would seem that Arpaio would be unlikely to win the nomination or election, with both Flake and Senator John McCain highly critical of him, and of Trump’s pardon of the controversial former Sheriff in Phoenix.

However, were Arpaio to run and be successful, he would be the oldest first term U S Senator ever elected in American history, at age 86 and 7 and a half months in January 2019, making him older than the oldest members of the present US Senate, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Utah Senator and President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Previously, only two US Senators were sworn in at an older age than Arpaio would be, but both were appointed to finish out a term, not elected by popular vote.

Andrew Jackson Houston of Texas, son of the famous Sam Houston, served by appointment for 67 days to fill a vacancy from April 21, 1941 to June 26, 1941 as a member of the Democratic Party, and he was 86 years 10 months and 1 day old when he became a member of the Senate. His brief term ended with his death, and he had been ill most of the time while a Senator, mostly being in a hospital during his tenure in the upper chamber. His death came five days after his 87th birthday.

Rebecca Felton of Georgia was the first woman to serve in the US Senate, and the only one to date from Georgia, and the oldest person ever sworn in to the US Senate, at age 87 years, 3 months and 24 days old, and serving only one day in the Senate as a Democrat from November 21 to November 22, 1922. Her husband had served in the House of Representatives, and Rebecca Felton had been a prominent reformer in the Progressive Era, an advocate of women suffrage and equal pay for equal work for women, as well as prison reform. However, at the same time, Felton supported white supremacy and had been a slave owner in her younger years, and had spoken in favor of lynching of African Americans, so her so called “Progressivism” had major shortcomings. She died at age 94 in 1930.

“Bully” Donald Trump Meets “Bully” Kim Jong Un: Now What? The Most Dangerous Moment Since The Cuban Missile Crisis, But Trump Is NOT JFK!

So now after 200 days as President, the stupidity of the Trump voters is proven, as now our “man child bully” has us on the brink of a massive war, possibly nuclear war, the most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962! Ironically, we are now commemorating the 72 year anniversary of use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945!

Trump has no clue as to what to do, other than to threaten and talk about “fire, fury, and power” against North Korea and Kim Jong Un. Trump blustering in public is so “unPresidential” action, one of a mad man, not a stable leader! Donald Trump is no John F. Kennedy!

What it comes down to is one bully is meeting another bully, both men children, with the emphasis on children!

If there was ever a need for an immediate resignation, it is NOW, but we are stuck with a maniac, who will go down in history for the likely greatest loss of life since World War II, if sanity does not rise.

The military people around Trump–Mattis, McMaster, Kelly–MUST control Donald Trump, and the Alt Right people, such as Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, must be immediately neutralized from having any influence on the President, or else we will see tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even more, people dying in South Korea, Japan, and including America military forces and their families in those nations.

Bombast is reckless, and has never been done by any American President, and already, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein of California have warned against any rash action by Trump.

The first thing Trump must be forced to do is SHUT UP! His mouth will cause the loss of life that will condemn him in history, and should accelerate his forced removal as an ignorant maniac who can destroy not only the nation, but the civilized world!

California Politics: From “Senior Citizens” To “New Generation” Heirs Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, And Eric Garcetti: Potential Presidential Candidates

California, one out of eight people in America, is finally seeing a political turnover, with the retirement of Senator Barbara Boxer (age 76)in 2016, and the future retirement of Governor Jerry Brown (age 80) at the end of 2018.

Now it is urgent that Senator Diane Feinstein, who will be 85 in 2018, decide NOT to run for another six year term. The best choice to replace her is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“Senior Citizens” in their late 70s or 80s should not be running for office, although many have, but it is time for California to set the standard, and already they have Senator Kamala Harris to replace Senator Boxer, and the likelihood of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom succeeding Jerry Brown as Governor.

Having leadership in their late 40s and early 50s would be a sign that the Golden State is looking to the future, and interestingly, all three–Harris, Newsom, and Garcetti—would be potential Democratic Presidential candidates in 2020, 2024, or beyond.

Fresh, young blood is desperately needed to deal with the issues of the 2020s and beyond, and no matter how good a record some may think Diane Feinstein has had, it is time to retire, Diane! Do you get it?

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

The Future Of The Democratic Party: Younger Liberals In The US Senate

When one sees that Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, California Senator Barbara Boxer, and Nevada Senator Harry Reid are retiring in 2016, and know that other older Senate Democrats have limited time left in the Senate, it makes it clear that it is time to examine who among the “younger” generation of liberal Senate Democrats may be perceived as the future of the Democrats beyond Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Even if Hillary Clinton becomes President, where is the hope for liberal Democrats in the future, as there are very few Democratic governors. The “youth” movement in the Democratic Party is therefore in the hands of the following younger liberal Senate Democrats:

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (41)
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz (42)
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (45)
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (48)
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (50)
Delaware Senator Christopher Coons (51)
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (53)
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (54)
Michigan Senator Gary Peters (56)
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (57)
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (58)
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (59)

These are the present Democratic hopes for the future, to make an impact on the level of Mikulski, Boxer, Reid, along with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, California Senator Diane Feinstein, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Washington Senator Patty Murray, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Of course, more liberal Senate Democrats yet unknown could be elected in 2016, including Kamala Harris in California and Patrick Murphy in Florida, and hopefully, the Democrats will take back control of the United States Senate, and some new Democratic governors might be elected, assuming a coattail effect of the candidacy of the Democratic nominee in the Electoral College, still highly likely!

The Disgraceful Breaking Of International Law And Ethics And Morality Of The Bush-Cheney Administration!

Just about the most shocking event in many years is the revelation yesterday in the US Senate of the total lack of ethics, morality and decency, and the disgraceful breaking of international law by the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney Administration!

Torture is outlawed by all decent nations, and just because terrorists and some rogue regimes choose to torture is not a justification for such practices. The most obscene, reprehensible tactics authorized by the Bush-Cheney regime qualifies them for facing trial under international law as war criminals, plain and simple.

This crime is worse than ANYTHING ever done under any President of the United States, bar none, and should, rightfully, place George W. Bush in the very bottom of the rankings of Presidents for all time!

Dick Cheney will always stand out as the absolutely worst Vice President in history, with no conscience, ethics or morals, on top of being a war profiteer from the military involvement in Iraq, through his connections with Haliburton!

Bush and Cheney will escape judgment in an international court, but their names will be forever besmirched in history, and the fact that decent people in both political parties, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona (himself tortured in a North Vietnamese prison), Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, and Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia join in condemning their lawlessness is a sign that we have not lost all morality and ethics. In effect, the Presidential Election of 2000, where Al Gore won the biggest popular vote margin for a losing candidate (due to questionable Supreme Court intervention) led to this monstrosity in the name of the American people! And if John McCain, by far the preferable GOP candidate in 2000, had been able to overcome the reprehensible tactics of George W. Bush in the primaries, and ended up running against Al Gore, this nation would have been assured of having a lawful, moral, ethical President, instead of the trash we put into the White House and the Vice Presidency!

It will take a long time for the American reputation to be revived to what it has been, and we have to work very hard to insure that, in the future, we elect to the Presidency ONLY men or women who have a basic sense of the limits of power; a sense of ethics and morality; and a sense of common decency and belief in international standards of behavior!

And to think that these reprehensible tactics did nothing to protect America, and instead endangers our citizens and military long into the future, is the ultimate irony above all!

California Political Leaders Need To Open Up To Future Generation Of Leadership!

A major problem in American politics is the refusal of political leaders of both parties to recognize when it is time to retire from the scene, and allow a new generation of leadership.

Too many US Senators and Congressmen stay on until their late 70s and early 80s, and this includes Governors and other state officials as well.

While there can be no official retirement age mandated, it seems appropriate that these political leaders accept reality, and allow for a generational change.

A great example is California, heavily Democratic, but led by people who should make clear that they will NOT run again past 2014.

This includes:

Governor Jerry Brown 76 (nearing 81 at end of next term in 2018); Senator Diane Feinstein 81 (with her term ending in 2018 at age 86 plus); Senator Barbara Boxer 73 (76 when she finishes her present Senate term at the end of 2016); and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi 74 (past 76 at the end of the next Congressional term in 2016).

Is it too much to expect that people in public office who are nearing age 81; age 86; age 76; and past 76 at the end of their present or future terms recognize it is time to leave, no matter how good a record they have in office?

Ego and power is what keeps these and other people in public office, but it is time for change and new faces in Congress and the state governments!

The Urgent Need For A Younger United States Senate

The United States Senate, by its very nature, is an undemocratic body, as all states are equal in membership, two Senators per state, whether the population of California (38 million people) or Wyoming (575,000 people)!

So we have the ability of “small state” Senators to wield great power and influence, and stand in the way of what is best for the nation at large!

The filibuster is one such mechanism that can prevent progress and action, and helps to make the US Senate a body that, much more often, applies the brakes on legislation, rather than speed action on such legislation.

The Senate has become much more undemocratic than anyone ever envisioned in the 18th century, as no one could know that in 2013, eleven states would have the majority of electoral votes needed to elect the President, and that nine states would have a majority of the entire population of the United States!

Nothing can be done about this reality, and there are no term limits, and some Senators have served 30 or more years, with the record being Robert Byrd and his 52 years in the US Senate from West Virginia!

But more troubling than the lack of term limits is the reality of older Senators being dominant, wielding great power as heads of committees, or being ranking members of such committees, at an age when most Americans are either retired or cutting down work hours dramatically!

When Senator Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the Senate, died at age 89, Senator Diane Feinstein of California became the oldest member of the Senate, and became 80 years of age last weekend.

So at present, with Feinstein at age 80, there are 21 US Senators in their 70s, 35 in their 60s, 30 in their 50s, 12 in their 40s, and 1 in his 30s.

The idea that 57 Senators are over age 60, when most people are moving toward retirement, is alarming, and the Senate has become an institution out of touch with the typical American who is in the mid to late 30s on the average, but being represented by senior citizens who do not have the ability to adapt as readily to change as is required in the modern world of government!

There should be some kind of age limit, whereby a person cannot run for the Senate (a six year term) beyond the age of 69, meaning that person would leave the Senate no later than age 75!

Many would call this age discrimination, but the ability of government to deal with modern challenges would seem to demand such a limit, not that it is possible to believe that such a limit would be realistically possible to achieve any time soon, if ever!

Since very few Americans, even if retired, work full time at age 75, it would seem appropriate to establish such an age limit, more than limiting actual total terms of a US Senator.

But again, this is just a suggestion to consider, and unlikely to be reality at any point in the future, a sad situation, indeed!