Filibuster

Trump Declares His Ten Month Presidency Best In American History–Is He For Real?

Donald Trump has, in recent days, declared that his ten month Presidency is the best in American history, that no President has accomplished more than he has!

Is Donald Trump for real?

Is he totally delusional, or just a great massive liar?

He demonstrates his total ignorance of American history, as he forgets the first ten months of many other Presidencies.

Woodrow Wilson in 1913; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933; Harry Truman in 1945; John F. Kennedy in 1961; Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964; Ronald Reagan in 1981; Barack Obama in 2009—all accomplished much more.

So did Abraham Lincoln in 1861; James K. Polk in 1845; Andrew Jackson in 1829; Thomas Jefferson in 1801; and George Washington in 1789.

Even far less significant Presidents accomplished more in their first ten months to a year.

And beyond the first nine to ten months or year, many other Presidents accomplished a great deal, with no sign that Donald Trump, were he to survive, would be able to do so.

After all, NO legislation has been passed, absolutely NONE!

His one accomplishment is Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, accomplished only by changing the filibuster rules of the US Senate.

Trump has done great damage to the judiciary; to the diplomatic community; to many government agencies through destructive appointments and actions by the executive branch.

NOTHING that has been done can be seen in a positive light, and all he cares about is his own self image.

Trump is out to destroy, rather than construct, and is uninterested in facts, and prefers conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump is a very sick man, a danger to the nation, and yet the Republican controlled Congress stands by, and refuses to take action against the menace that Donald Trump represents.

We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis, and it might not work out well.

Massive Liar Donald Trump And The Mueller Investigation: Lying Before Grand Jury Or Mueller Would Lead To Impeachment And Removal

It is well known that Donald Trump is the “Liar in Chief”, and is the most massive liar ever to occupy the Oval Office.

This lying could, ultimately, do him in, as if and when he is called upon by voluntary means or subpoena to appear before Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian collusion and obstruction of justice inquiry, Donald Trump would be under oath, and if he lied before the grand jury, as Bill Clinton did in 1998 before Ken Starr, he could, like Bill Clinton, face impeachment charges.

Trump does not have ability to tell the truth, and keep his story straight, but inconsistency in a legal proceeding would put him in jeopardy.

With evidence mounting, and with Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and others already in legal jeopardy, the future of Donald Trump is gloomy, and has helped to make his first nine months as President a total disaster with no major legislation, and only the Supreme Court appointment of Neil Gorsuch, with a changed filibuster rule, as something he can claim has been accomplished.

Donald Trump is a man in great danger, and the likelihood of succession by Vice President Mike Pence is growing.

Which Republican Senators Might Stop Republican Agenda On Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid And Other Issues In Domestic And Foreign Policy?

With the Republican Party in full control of both houses of Congress again, although with smaller margins, one wonders what Republican Senators might ignore party lines at times, and fight against Donald Trump on changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other issues, including nominations, and domestic and foreign policy actions that are feared by many people, including not only Democrats but moderate conservative Republicans and some conservative intellectuals.

All that would be needed to stop actions would be three Republican Senators, along with the 48 Democrats in the Senate, with the filibuster a weapon that could be used by Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Which Republicans might be willing to buck the party and Donald Trump on specific issues?

At the top of the list would be Susan Collins of Maine, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Others who might join these two women would be Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The problem is that there is no certainty that any of these nine Senators will prove to be a “profile in courage”.

The Importance Of Maintaining A Democratic Senate Majority

Many people, who do not understand the importance of midterm elections, have wondered whether it makes any difference if we have a Democratic Senate or a Republican Senate.

There are many reasons why it is extremely crucial that the Democrats retain the Senate, since it is clear that the Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives, and may gain more seats, and go from a 233-199 (with three vacancies) total to over 240, due to gerrymandering, and the power of incumbency.

A Democratic Senate gives Barack Obama the chance to gain a new Supreme Court Justice of his own choice, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg or any other Justice decides to retire in the next two years, or if any Justice should die while a member of the Court. Also, ability to have circuit and district court judges, and cabinet positions, and other appointments approved would be very difficult if the GOP controlled the Senate.

A Democratic Senate prevents any serious move toward a likely impeachment of Barack Obama, as the Republicans would see no point to doing it, if there was no chance of a conviction, which in reality would not happen in any case, as it would require a two thirds (67) vote to convict and remove. The Republicans might be fully aware that it would not succeed, but might wish to besmirch the historical record of Obama, much as they did with Bill Clinton in 1998-1999.

A Democratic Senate insures that in two years, with two thirds of the seats up for election being Republicans, that the Democrats would likely gain 6-8 seats, and might, in 2017, reach the magic number of 60 or more, preventing any possible use of the filibuster tactic.

A Democratic Senate would insure the survival of ObamaCare, and the inability of any further move to destroy this signature program. Additionally, attempts to reverse other changes and reforms that have occurred would be impossible, all to the good.

A Democratic Senate would make it unnecessary for President Obama to utilize the veto power, which he has used very sparingly in his time in office.

A Democratic Senate would mean that the Republican Party had lost its last opportunity to gain control of both Houses, and in 2016, with a strong Democratic nominee for President, and the likelihood of coattail effects in those states that are “blue” or “purple”, would likely lead to a flip in the House to Democratic control, and the GOP would never again, any time soon, gain control of either House of Congress, as they have shown no desire to deal with the important issues that face the nation in domestic policy, and refusal to support Barack Obama in foreign policy, having abandoned the long held view of a sense of bipartisanship when dealing with the world and its problems.

Republican Senators And The Minimum Wage Law

The Republican Party has effectively written off those workers who are paid the minimum wage, not caring about how they are to survive in an economy with the situation stacked against them.

It has been nearly a decade since the minimum wage was raised, and people forget that the minimum wage was never raised during the 1980’s, and so the cost of living is way beyond what the minimum wage should be.

Originally established at 25 cents an hour in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. the minimum wage should now be about $15 an hour based on inflation, but instead is, nationally at $7.25 an hour for nearly a decade, although some states have raised the limit.

The bill that failed to get to a vote in the Senate, due to the filibuster tactic, would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in stages until 2016, but NOT one GOP Senator, not even Senator Susan Collins of Maine, or Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, or a few others thought to have some “moderate” tendencies, voted for the rise in the minimum wage.

Many of the minimum wage workers are breadwinners for their families, and the stress of having too little income also affects their physical and mental health, but obviously Republicans and conservatives do not give a damn about those realities!

Today’s minimum wage is 25 percent below what it was in 1968, an absolute atrocity! Putting extra money in the hands of the working poor would make life easier, add to business profits, and would certainly all be put back into the economy, but the Republicans are determined to punish the poor for being poor, and in so doing, harm children and women, even more than men.

If this is not the new “Gilded Age”, what is it, not only for the poor, but for the dwindling middle class?

This is Scrooge at its best!

Speaker John Boehner Finally Shows “Cojones” Against Tea Party!

Speaker of the House John Boehner FINALLY has shown “cojones” against the extremist Tea Party movement and other right wing whackos in his caucus, who are anarchistic and reckless.

He overcame the “Hastert Rule”, started by previous GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert, that no bill would come up for a vote unless there was a majority of Republicans behind it.

Having already abandoned this rule a few times, Boehner took a major step yesterday when he allowed a “clean” vote on the debt limit being taken off the table as a decisive issue until March 15, 2015, insuring economic stability and growth over the next year by that action!

By a vote of 221-201, with 193 Democrats and 28 Republicans, the debt limit increase passed, but many committee chairs and Paul Ryan, Budget Committee Chair, voted NO, and it made it on the record that 199 Republicans were willing to have the government go into default, something that should harm them in the midterm elections coming up in November. Interestingly, other members of the House leadership, including Eric Cantor, the heir apparent, and Kevin McCarthy, and Darrell Issa, voted with Boehner and the 28 Republicans who voted for the debt limit extension.

Boehner may end up leaving Congress, or at least, losing the Speakership if he stays and his party keeps control, but yesterday was a profile in courage FINALLY!

And if, by some chance, Texas Senator Ted Cruz tries to block the debt limit extension by calling for a 60 vote majority to consider it, and if five Republicans cannot be found, then Harry Reid, the Majority Leader, has threatened to use the “nuclear option”, allowing for all votes in the Senate to be based on a 51 vote majority, destroying the filibuster, and then a flow of legislation has a chance to get through the Senate!

The time of the Tea Party Movement dominance over Congress MAY have come to an end, and not too soon!

Our 18th Century Political System No Longer Works In The 21st Century!

The Founding Fathers of the late 18th century created a political system that worked for a long time, despite many crises.

Sadly, it no longer works when one realizes that we have a system where land counts more than people, as in the US Senate!

The top NINE states in the 2010 US Census had a combined population which is a majority of the nation—California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan! So two Northeastern states, three Southern states, three Midwestern states, and one Western state are where the population is most concentrated!

Also, the next eleven states,in total, have over 25 percent of the total population. So that means TWENTY states have over 75 percent of the entire population of the country in their midst!

Also, if you add states 21-30, it adds another 15 percent of the nation’s population, and that means 90 percent of the country is in 30 states, while the other 20 states have less than ten percent of the entire population combined!

Also, 70 percent of the American population lives on TWO PERCENT of all of the land of the country!

Despite this, we have the 30 percent of the population living on 98 percent of the land, and 41 states out of 50, having the ability to dictate most actions of the Senate, and the House of Representatives!

And 30 states, having less than 25 percent of the total population, can, in theory, block action, or bring about action through the filibuster, in the Senate, with their 60 votes!

There is no immediate or long range solution to this reality, but it is important that people realize that the Founding Fathers, as brilliant as they were, could not, possibly, conceive how the nation would change over 225 years!

The Most Significant Long Range Events Of 2013

Now that we are in the last day of 2013, it is time to reflect on what the most significant long range events of 2013 are, events that will affect us in the future, and are signs of progress, which can never be reversed.

They include in no special order:

The accomplishment of national health care, a dream since Theodore Roosevelt first mentioned the concept in his Progressive Party campaign in 1912, later suggested by Harry Truman, partially enacted by Lyndon B. Johnson, attempted by Bill and Hillary Clinton unsuccessfully, promoted by Senator Ted Kennedy, and finally becoming law under Barack Obama. Even with all of the kinks and quirks now and in the future, national health care is here to stay, finally making America reach the stage of all other democracies in the world, but as usual the last to adopt social and economic reform, as compared to Europe, Canada, and Australia.

The acceptance by the Supreme Court of the concept of gay marriage, and the expansion from nine to eighteen states of acceptance of same sex marriage, and nothing will ever reverse what has happened, and eventually, the Supreme Court will mandate its legality throughout America, just as they did for interracial marriage in 1967. Many may not like it, but just as with interracial marriage, one does not have to engage in either interracial or same sex marriage, but it is nobody’s business to tell someone else who he or she is to love and to have the benefits of marriage, and no religious institution needs to accept it, as civil marriage will always be available.

The civil war raging in the Republican Party, which will determine if the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike will survive or go into the dustbin of history, which Is certain, if the right wing Tea Party Movement is allowed to take over the party apparatus, and control the House and Senate Republican caucuses, and control major state governments around the nation. An extreme right wing Republican Party will not survive, and will give the Democrats such dominance that a moderate centrist party, maybe on the pattern of the Whig Party of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln in the 19th century, will then emerge as a valid alternative to the more leftist Democratic Party by comparison.

The rise of a permanent Democratic majority in the Electoral College, as Georgia, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina will turn “blue” over the rest of the second decade of the 21st century, due to the growth in the Hispanic-Latino population, and the alienation of women from the Republican Party, which is working to control the reproductive lives of women. Both groups will swing these Sun Belt States to the Democrats, and with the Atlantic Coast from New England down to Virginia, and the Pacific Coast and the Upper Midwest more “blue” all of the time, there will be no way that Democrats will lose the White House over the next couple of decades, whether they nominate Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, or someone else, for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond.

The Supreme Court will turn more liberal, as over the remaining years of this decade, the likelihood of new Supreme Court appointments, as well as circuit and district courts, will fall to Democratic Presidents, who no longer have to worry about a filibuster proof majority of 60 votes. The need for only 51 votes or 50 with the Vice President breaking the tie, insures that the courts, and eventually the high Court, will take a different view over time on same sex marriage, abortion rights, civil rights, and civil liberties, reminding one over the next two decades (due to lifetime appointments) of the history of the Warren Court.

A happy 2014 to all my readers and contributors!

The Most Pleasant Stories Of 2013 Vs. The Most Disturbing Stories Of 2013

2013 is coming to an end, and as always, there are stories and events that are very pleasant, and also those which are very disturbing.

The most pleasant stories of the year include in no particular order the following:

The Rise of Pope Francis, invigorating and reforming the Catholic Church, with his message of inclusion, compassion for the poor, and condemnation of unbridled capitalism.

The victory of Bill DeBlasio as Mayor of New York City, promoting a change in policy in a city which has catered to the wealthy, and ignored the poor and middle class.

The doubling of states which permit same sex marriage from nine to eighteen, and the growing acceptance of the American people to tolerance on the topic.

Senate filibuster reform on Presidential appointments, which allows the President to gain the people he wants for executive and judicial appointments, a right of any President, but prevented by Senate Republican intransigence.

The most disturbing stories of the year include in no particular order the following:

The Congressional deadlock caused by the Tea Party Movement in the Republican Party, including the government shutdown and dearth of Congressional activity.

The growing inequality and deprivation of the middle class and the poor, caused by a massive redistribution of wealth by tax policy over the years from Reagan to Bush II.

The Supreme Court backtracking on the Voting Rights Act guarantees after a half century, and the damage that continues to be done due to the Citizens United Case.

The rise of mean spirited, aggressive leaders including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, both Tea Party favorites who work against compromise in any form.

The Crucial Importance Of A Democratic Senate And President For The Future

The battle for Democratic control of the House of Representatives, the need to gain 17 seats, is a bitter one, with right wing groups spending millions to make sure that the Republicans keep control, and prevent any furthering of the Barack Obama agenda.

Due to the reality of gerrymandered districts, created by Republican legislatures and governors, as a result of the 2010 midterm elections, the concept of majority rule has been distorted, with Democrats winning more total votes nationally in Congressional races, but Republicans able to win a majority of seats, and oppose everything Obama wants, and cause a shutdown of the government in October.

Due to the extremism of the Republican House as a result of the “hostage” situation created by the Tea Party Movement, the 2013 session of the Congress has been the worst since records were kept in 1947, but now the “establishment” Republicans are declaring war on the Tea Party right wingers, and trying to insure that the mainstream conservatives, led by Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be able to control the future.

At the same time, right wing pressure groups are trying to defeat a group of conservatives in House and Senate primaries, so the civil war may give Democrats the opportunity to gain enough seats to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker again in the 114th Congress of 2015-2016. That would allow the budgetary power of the House Ways and Means Committee to be back in Democratic hands, giving them the opportunity to reverse regressive policies perpetrated by Republicans since 2011.

But even more important is the keeping of a Democratic Senate majority, with the ability to get appointments of the President confirmed by a majority, rather than needing 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. This is particularly important for federal district and circuit court nominees, and for the eventual approval of Supreme Court nominees on the aging Court.

Part of this is also the need to have a Democratic President after 2016, as that reality, plus a Democratic Senate, would guarantee that social conservatism would lose out on such issues, as abortion, gay marriage, civil liberties, civil rights, and so many other issues that are crucial to the long range future of making America a nation of fairness, justice, equality, and tolerance!