Dianne Feinstein

Reflecting On The Age Issue Over Next Decade

America is faced with many crises, but one not much paid attention to is the Age issue.

We are seeing more people in government who are reaching their 70s and 80s, and that is a worrisome trend.

Certainly, people in their 70s and 80s can be active, engaged, constructive, as this author, in his mid 70s is, as an adjunct college professor, lecturer, author, blogger, contributor of articles on history and politics, and participant on radio shows about history and politics.

But this author is NOT making government policy, and is not facing the daunting challenges of dealing with a multitude of challenges in domestic and foreign policy, that affects and will continue to affect hundreds of millions of Americans, and seven billion people worldwide.

We see Donald Trump in his mid 70s, showing signs of craziness and dementia. We see Joe Biden, who this author loves, not quite as swift and alert as he seeks the Presidency. We see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both seemingly very alert and energetic, but reaching 79 and 71 by January 20, 2021, both older than Trump when he was elected, and with Biden reaching 78 by Inauguration Day 2021.

We see the top three Democrats in leadership in the House of Representatives all nearing 80 in the next couple of years, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the same with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There are about four Senators over 80 already, and Dianne Feinstein was elected at 85 in 2018, to serve another six year term to age 91. And at least two Senators will be added to that list over 80 in the next few years.

We have two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who are 86 and 81, and their refusal to leave years ago has created the possibility of an extreme right wing Court if Donald Trump wins reelection.

There has to be recognition of the need for younger generations to inherit power, and for older generations to accept that their time has passed.

All Time High Number Of Women US Senators In 116th Congress: 25

In the 116th Congress of 2019-2020, there will be an all time high of 25 women Senators, including four new members of the upper chamber.

17 of them will be Democrats, while 8 will be Republicans.

Six states will have both their Senators being women, including

California—Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris

Washington—Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

New Hampshire—Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan

Minnesota—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith

Arizona—Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally

Nevada—Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen

All of these duos are Democrats, except for Martha McSally, just appointed to fill John McCain’s seat to 2020, after losing the chance to win the seat of retiring Senator Jeff Flake to Kyrsten Sinema.

The longest serving woman Senator is Dianne Feinstein of California, who has been in the Senate since November 1992, and is the oldest member of the US Senate, and if she survives in office to the end of her term in 2024, she would be 91, only the 4th Senator to reach the age of 90 in office, and also would be the woman with more years of service than any other woman Senator.

Patty Murray of Washington has only two months fewer service than Feinstein, so also would have served longer than any other woman Senator.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine started serving in 1997, the longest serving Republican woman Senator.

32 states have had women Senators by 2019, and 21 states so represented in the 116th Congress.

A total of 56 women Senators will have served by 2019, with 36 being Democrats and 20 being Republicans.

And finally, it is likely that four Democratic women Senators will be running for President in 2020—Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris.

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley Goes To New Hampshire And Iowa: Sign Of Presidential Planning, Despite Hillary Clinton!

Just as almost everyone imaginable seems to think Hillary Clinton is running for President, and will be the next President, we are seeing the emergence of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley as a potential challenger to Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

O’Malley makes the case that he is simply preparing If Hillary, ultimately, does not run, and he is boning up on domestic and foreign policy issues, and emphasizing his broad experience as an executive, as Mayor of Baltimore for eight years, and now finishing up eight years as Governor of Maryland.

But is is certainly possible that O’Malley might decide to challenge Clinton if she does run, and that would place him on a short list of potential Vice Presidential nominees, and therefore, the possible heir apparent to Clinton after eight years as Vice President.

O’Malley’s candidacy is, certainly, more legitimate than that of former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who has seemed more of a long shot, and just did a lot of damage in the past week with his comments about Eric Cantor and Dianne Feinstein.

All the other potential challengers on paper are officeholders, making the job of running for the Presidency a lot more difficult, with the list including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Senator Kirsten Gillbrand, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Of course, there is also Vice President Joe Biden, who would become the immediate frontrunner in the Democratic battle for President were Hillary Clinton to shock just about everyone, and announce she was not running for the Presidency.

Meanwhile, Martin O’Malley is drawing attention by making appearances and speeches in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and is making a good impression upon citizens!

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer Self Destructs His Presidential Campaign!

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has been hinting very strongly that he plans to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, if no one else does, or even if others do run.

Well, Brian, you can forget it after your wild, wooly comments to NATIONAL JOURNAL, which did an interview and detailed article on the former Montana Governor, who actually was quite effective in that position, and can have a charming personality.

But Schweitzer totally unraveled, trying to be funny, but really striking out.

He spoke of California Senator Dianne Feinstein as if she was a street walker when she seemed shocked about government spying, when she well knew such was going on, something one could, rightfully, criticize, but NOT in the way that Schweitzer did. Can you imagine if he were President and had to face Feinstein, a senior Democrat, in meetings at the White House?

But even worse, Schweitzer made the statement that Southern men are effeminate in their moves and gestures, and referred to Eric Cantor, the soon to leave House Majority Leader, stating that Schweitzer’s “Gaydar” made him sense the gayness of Southerners, although he said, apparently, Cantor is not gay.

What kind of comment is that to make about anyone, and to label a whole geographical section of men as being that? This is extremely looney behavior, and not funny at all! And imagine having to deal with Southern members of Congress after saying that!

A President must have diplomacy and tact, which Schweitzer, apparently, does not have at all!

Schweitzer might have made an interesting race, but now it is a joke in concept more than ever, even if he chooses to put himself out there!

The best chance, although highly remote, of a politician from “Big Sky Country” being President is now part of history for sure! Suggestion to Brian Schweitzer, disappear, as you have effectively lost any chance of serving in Washington DC for anything in the future, including an appointment to a Cabinet position by a President Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrat! You have blown any chance you had for national service with your big mouth! Be gone!

The Jewish Members Of The 113th Congress

In the 113th Congress, due to meet on January 3, there will be a total of 34 people of Jewish heritage serving over the two years of that Congress.

There will be 12 Senators and 22 House members, with the only Republican being House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The 12 Senators include newly appointed Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, just appointed and sworn in yesterday for a two year term, before Schatz has to run for the remaining two years of the term of former Senator Daniel Inouye.

The other eleven Jewish Senators include:

Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California
Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut
Michael Bennet of Colorado
Ben Cardin of Maryland
Carl Levin of Michigan
Al Franken of Minnesota
Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey
Charles Schumer of New York
Ron Wyden of Oregon
Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Among the House members are:

Henry Waxman of California
Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida
Jan Schakowsky of Illinois
Sander Levin of Michigan
Eliot Engel, Steve Israel, Nita Lowey and Jerrold Nadler of New York

Jewish members of the two houses of Congress come from:

California
Connecticut
Colorado
Florida
Illinois
Kentucky
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Tennessee
Virginia
Vermont

Arlen Specter, A Senate Giant, Leaves Behind A Complicated Legacy As He Dies At Age 82

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who died today at age 82, was, without a doubt, a Senate giant, who leaves behind a complicated legacy.

Specter was a Democrat in Philadelphia, turned a Republican, and then, at the end of his career, a Democrat again!

Specter was a liberal Republican who became a moderate, but fought against the conservative trend in his party.

Specter was one of the most influential Jewish Senators in American history, ranking on the level of New York Senator Jacob Javits, Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff, Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum, Michigan Senator Carl Levin, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, California Senator Barbara Boxer, Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, and New York Senator Charles Schumer. Only Javits was a Republican, other than Specter.

Specter was a giant figure on the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, involved in 14 Supreme Court nomination battles, including the stopping of Robert Bork, and the defense of Clarence Thomas, and the impeachment controversy surrounding President Bill Clinton.

Specter was a prickly, ornery individual, who did not suffer fools very well, whether Senate colleagues or constituents, and became a major critic of the mindless Tea Party Movement in the Republican Party after the election of President Barack Obama.

Specter lost his seat in the Senate after 30 years, when he backed President Obama on health care, and switched back to the Democratic Party, giving them, for a brief period, a 60 member filibuster proof majority in the US Senate.

Specter was seen as a man of principle, but also an opportunist, who gained many enemies all over the political spectrum.

Specter was a key figure in the Warren Commission investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy, being on the staff of the commission, and promoting the viewpoint of a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, which became the official viewpoint of the Warren Commission, a viewpoint he never backed away from, despite the many conspiracy theories.

Specter may have been a “loner” in many ways, but in the thirty years he was in the US Senate, he gained a lot of respect and stature as one of its giant figures, who could not be ignored, overlooked, or mistreated, as he would always fight back, including his two courageous battles with cancer in his last decade.

Arlen Specter is a person who historians will have to wrestle with to understand American politics and history in the 1980s, 1990s, and the early 21st century! His effect on so many areas and issues will be a goldmine for scholars in the future, trying to decipher the controversies and issues going back even to the 1960s!

May Arlen Specter rest in peace, knowing he had a great impact on his nation that will not be forgotten!