Florida

One Year Since Hurricane Maria In Puerto Rico: A Total National Tragedy, And Time For Puerto Rican Statehood

It has been one tragic year since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, and its floods, winds, and the aftermath of very limited recovery efforts by the Trump Administration led to almost 3,000 deaths, making Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, with its 1,800 deaths look minor by comparison.

The main job of government is to protect its population, not just from foreign foes and invasion, but also from natural disasters, and the Republican Party has set a horrible record of lack of concern and ineptness in dealing with natural disasters.

Witness Hurricane Andrew in 1992 in Florida under President George H. W. Bush; Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in Louisiana under President George W. Bush; and now Hurricane Maria in 2017 in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands under President Donald Trump.

Trump’s lack of concern is worst than the disasters under the two Bushes, and his racism is totally apparent, and the gall of him to throw paper towels on a brief visit a few weeks after the disaster shows just how despicable he is as a human being.

It is time for Puerto Rico, which is still treated as a colony, to apply for statehood, and in June of 2017 the island voted for statehood overwhelmingly, but a small percentage voted, but it should move forward expeditiously, and become the 51st state.

There is a statehood bill, that would make Puerto Rico a state by January 1, 2021, 19 days before the next Presidential inauguration.

Of course, the Republicans, if they keep control, will not wish to do so, as Puerto Rico would certainly be a Democratic state, and likely have two Democratic Senators and a few Democratic Congressmen, but it is the right thing to do, and soon.

Key Republicans To Defeat: Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn For Senate, And Scott Walker For Governor

As the midterm elections get closer, this blogger sees four key Republicans that he hopes will be defeated, as he considers them the worst of the worst of all Republicans running for office.

In ranked order, the first would be Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who this blogger thought was more dangerous than even Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Cruz is a true monster, a very evil force, hated even by Republicans, due to his arrogance and cockiness and his despicable voting record. El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke is running a very close race against Cruz, and there are many who think that even “Red” Texas is ready to be flipped to the Democrats and O’Rourke, as part of a growing belief that Texas will be “Blue” in future years. Nothing would satisfy this blogger more than to see Cruz retired from the Senate.

Second on the list would be Florida Governor Rick Scott, leaving the Governorship, but running for the US Senate against Democrat Bill Nelson. Scott has been a horrible Governor, and should have been in federal prison for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, and his eight years as Florida Governor have been a horror, setting Florida back, and making Jeb Bush look far better by comparison. He has doubled his wealth despite a blind trust, and is outspending Nelson, but polls indicate the election is close, and this man should not be given a Senate seat, and the fact that he won two terms as Governor by very small margins gives hope that Nelson can pull it out, hopefully on the coattails of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum.

Third on the list would be Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, who is after Scott the most disgraceful governor in the past eight years, doing great harm to the past progressive image of the state of the La Follettes, Gaylord Nelson, William Proxmire, and other reform oriented leaders that made Wisconsin a leader in reform. Walker is another arrogant, cocky leader who richly deserves being retired. The Democrats have nominated the State Superintendent of Instruction Tony Evers, and the race is close, based on public opinion polls.

Finally, on this short list is Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, giving up her certain House seat to run for an open Senate seat in Tennessee, created by the retirement of Senator Bob Corker. Blackburn is an obnoxious, insufferable person, as annoying as former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was in her years in the House of Representatives. Blackburn, however, has a tough competition in former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, who is ahead of her by a good margin, and hopefully, Bredesen, extremely popular, will soundly defeat Marsha Blackburn.

If all four of these Republicans could be defeated, it would be as if one was in heaven, and right now, there is a good chance that all four will lose out, to the benefit of Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and the nation at large. Additionally, any plans in the future for Cruz or Walker to run for President again, or for Scott to plan to do so, would be gone, if they lose reelection in the case of Cruz and Walker, or election for Scott.

The Dozen Most “Trumpian” Members Of Congress: Traitors To Democracy And The Rule Of Law

It is well known by now that the Republican Party as a party in Congress is guilty of cooperating with a President who is moving toward authoritarianism and dictatorship with their support and endorsement, if by nothing else than collaboration and lack of spine to speak up, and even endanger their seats.

But the party cares more about the perks of office, and in enriching the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, working class, and the poor.

They have no compassion, no empathy, no concern about the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, or protection of the Bill of Rights.

They are a party condemned which deserves to be dissolved.

But there are a dozen Republican officeholders for whom any decent American should have contempt, so here is the list by word and action, or lack of action and speaking out, of the dozen most “Trumpian” members of Congress.

It is particularly disturbing that a number of these dozen names are leaders of the party, or strive to be such.

The leaders include: Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, President Pro Tempore of the Senate until January; Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who is leaving the House in January; and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, and potentially still so if the Senate remains Republican in the 116th Congress of 2019-2020.

These three, with the first two being two and three heartbeats away from the Presidency, have been a total disgrace and embarrassment to the high positions they hold.

Then, we have House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who wants to be Speaker of the House to succeed Paul Ryan, and is seen as being the close “buddy” of the President, and was recorded speaking very loud in 2016 about Russian connections of Trump and other Republicans, until Paul Ryan shushed him, but it happened, and Robert Mueller knows it, and that means McCarthy is involved in Russian collusion, and likely Paul Ryan and other Republicans as well.

Also notable is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who despite his libertarian bull, is constantly bowing to Donald Trump, and he, like his wacky father, retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul, is a disgrace and a fraud.

Then, we have the newly minted Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is already openly racist and nativist in his appeal to the voters of the third largest state in population in America.

Also, we have House Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is an extremist who wants to cut all government down to what it was decades ago, a very dangerous person who has promoted government shutdowns numerous times.

Then, we have indicted and now withdrawing from reelection Congressman Chris Collins of New York, who was the first House member to endorse Donald Trump, and now faces prosecution for “insider trading” on the stock market.

Also, we can add Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, now engaged in a scandal about sexual abuse of college wrestlers decades ago when he was an assistant coach, and wanting to compete with Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House if the Republicans keep control of the chamber. He is Vice Chairman of the reprehensible House Freedom Caucus.

The final three are the youngest Senator at present, including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who is very nasty and vicious in his personality; California Congressman Devin Nunes, who has been the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and has engaged in tactics to prevent an investigation of Trump, and to promote more “dirt” and accusations against Hillary Clinton, and is seen as a collaborator on Russian collusion; and California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has been indicted on corruption involving campaign funds being spent for personal use, and who was the second House member to endorse Donald Trump after Chris Collins.

So we have four Senators and eight House members who are truly the “Trump Traitors”, willing to block action and take steps to undermine American democracy and the rule of law for their own selfish ends.

The Miracle Of Andrew Gillum, The Democratic Nominee For Governor In Florida

Today has been a glorious day, one of the best this author has experienced in a long time.

What seemed impossible happened, as Andrew Gillum, the African American Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida (the state capitol), overcame the disadvantages of no money, no winning of any polls, no advertising to speak of. He triumphed over four other candidates, all with tons of money, and polls and advertising on a large scale.

So now we have three African American candidates for Governor, with Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Ben Jealous in Maryland, along with Andrew Gillum.

Gillum was an unknown, and this author did not vote for him, assuming he had no chance to win, but now that he has won, this author is thrilled beyond belief, and ready to help Andrew Gillum win and bring a Democratic government on the executive level to the Sunshine State, the third largest behind California and Texas.

Andrew Gillum is educated, intelligent, a great orator, with great charisma and presence, a sense of humor, exudes confidence and has had executive experience, and displays a humility that is very appealing.

Gillum is someone to take seriously, as since independents could not vote in Florida for either party’s nomination, the potential for a “blue wave” is there, with not only independents, but also moderates in the Republican Party who are unhappy with the Donald Trump led Republican Party and its candidate, a nasty, mean spirited, arrogant three term Congressman, Ron DeSantis, who already the day after the primary, is using the word “monkey”, appealing to white supremacy and white racists.

Additionally, the fact that Gillum is only 39 will appeal to African Americans, young people, educated suburbanites, and the growing Puerto Rican population after Hurricane Irma, and with them being citizens of the US, and able to vote against Trump, who was shameful in his treatment of the hurricane disaster on that island. Now we are learning that 2,975 died in Puerto Rico, 60 percent higher than died in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

To make the situation even more impressive, the Attorney General nominee for the Democrats is also an African American, Sean Shaw, and the candidate for State Agricultural Commissioner is Nikki Fried, who is Jewish. So we have a truly diverse ticket, and all this should help Senator Bill Nelson hold off Governor Rick Scott, who is spending three times what Nelson is able to raise, for his campaign.

But the belief is that Gillum, Shaw, and Fried could carry Nelson on their backs, and lead to an all Democratic victory in Florida in November.

Crucial Senate Races On Road To Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

The US Senate will be a major battleground this coming November.

Ten “Red State” Democrats face the challenge of winning their seats, with a few of them the most endangered.

If the Senate is to go Democratic, all ten seats must be won by their Democratic veterans, but that is a tall order, and is tied to the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The most endangered regarding that issue are West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

Also possibly in trouble on that issue is Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

These four Senators are seen as moderate, rather than liberal Democrats, and all of them except McCaskill, voted for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch last year.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Montana Senator Jon Tester all seem safer in their Senate races as of now, but that could change.

The most endangered incumbent, with or without the Kavanaugh vote, is Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who has Governor Rick Scott as his opponent, and with Scott having triple the amount of funds that Nelson has been able to garner. Scott is horrific, but he won two close races for Governor in 2010 and 2014, using his own wealth.

Now there is a new threat, that New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich might have more trouble being reelected, as former Governor and Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has just entered the race as an Independent, and in a three way race, anything is possible.

The problem is that even if all of these 11 Senators are successfully reelected, the Democrats still must win two more seats, with Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas as possibilities in that order.

If the Democrats are able to win 51 seats in 2018, it would have to be considered a true miracle!

Donald Trump’s Further Unraveling At Rallies In Florida And Pennsylvania: How Degraded Can He Become?

It is hard to conceive of, but Donald Trump has further unraveled at rallies he held this week in Florida and Pennsylvania.

First, the audiences, consisting of the most ignorant, delusional, despicable people imaginable, all treating him as if he is a God! How sick and disgusting these crowds were, true examples of what Hillary Clinton correctly called “deplorables”, but even that word is too nice, as trash and garbage might be the more appropriate terms!

But then to Donald Trump, attacking Mexican Americans, who are more than 36 million people in America, eleven percent of the population of the nation, only a small amount less than the African American population, saying they are worse than how he described them in his announcement speech in June 2015? This is far worse than anything Alabama Governor George Wallace ever uttered in his Presidential campaign in 1968!

Trump continues to attack John McCain who is still hospitalized and clearly dying of cancer, and one wonders, when McCain passes, will Trump say something totally disgusting about his death?

Trump continues to deny Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, while his national security team makes clear what Russia did, and the direct threat they are presenting every day now.

Trump lies all the time, including about the reality that he was 15 minutes late to meet Queen Elizabeth II, and that he, inappropriately walked in front of her, blocking her.

Trump has refused to allow undocumented immigrants who have broken no laws, and who are married to American citizens, to remain, even after clear pleas for clemency, as just happened with a woman forced out, breaking up a marriage, with that woman saying about Trump, “May God forgive you!”

Trump is a very sick and demented man, clearly deteriorating before our eyes, but Vice President Mike Pence is like a bobblehead doll, nodding yes standing on the left behind every Trump rant!

Donald Trump has led a life of darkness, of being in league with demonic forces, and Karma will come, and Donald Trump will pay the price for his lying, his meanness, his nastiness, his lack of humanity, compassion, empathy, ethics, morals, and decency.

This is a continuing nightmare, seemingly with no end, and will likely lead to widespread violence against journalists, who he is constantly attacking with viciousness, and it could lead to the total breakdown of order, and the outbreak of civil war.

Something has to give, and someone needs to step in and excise the cancer in our midst, before our enemies in the world totally overcome us!

Crucial Gubernatorial Races That Could Affect The Future In Reapportionment Of Seats In Congress And State Legislatures After 2020 Census

There are a number of crucial gubernatorial races coming up in November, which could dramatically change the future of American politics, and change the reapportionment of seats that comes about after the Census of 2020.

In Florida, Gwen Graham, the daughter of well respected former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, is now leading the Democratic primary in the polls, and she could affect the beginning of the return of Democrats to influence in the state legislature and in Congress, and is far preferable to Congressman Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, the Democrats have nominated Stacey Abrams, who has been the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, and is African American, against Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who is extreme on gun rights.

In Ohio, Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and past Attorney General and State Treasurer, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, and is challenged by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, former US Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Congressman.

In Illinois, the Democratic nominee for Governor is J B Pritzker, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, competing against incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who has had a contentious relationship with the Democratic controlled state legislature.

In California, Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against Republican John Cox, a businessman, attorney and political activist backed by Donald Trump.

In Pennsylvania, sitting Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is heavily favored to win reelection, over Republican nominee and state representative Scott Wagner.

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is challenged by former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, with Abbott strongly favored to be reelected, but thought that she would be a strong challenge to Abbott.

These seven large states in population could see six out of seven victories for the Democrats, all but Texas, in all likelihood.

With Democrats having only 16 state Governors, but 36 gubernatorial elections coming up, the odds of a majority or more of state governors being Democrats in 2019 is considered a likelihood, and would allow the Democrats to have a great influence on reapportionment and gerrymandering in the next decade.

The “Red State” Democratic Senators, The Midterm Elections, And Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Ten “Red State” Democratic Senators face a moment of great challenge in November 2018.

Running for reelection in states that went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, they face the danger of defeat in their Senate races if they do not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, with a final vote expected in October.

Voting for Kavanaugh will insure the likelihood of a conservative majority on the Court for the next 20-30 years, which will affect many areas of domestic and foreign policy, and the powers of the Presidency.

But voting against Kavanaugh may retire many of them, and insure a Republican gain of seats in the US Senate, from 51 to quite a few more, allowing the Republicans to dominate into the future.

So what should these Senators do? Should they be profiles in courage and risk their seats to delay or prevent a conservative Supreme Court majority? Or should they vote for Kavanaugh and give themselves another six years to fight against Trump, without the burden of facing the voters until 2024?

It seems likely that at least the three Senators who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana—will end up voting to confirm Kavanaugh if the vote cannot be delayed until after the November mid term elections.

The other seven are seen as unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh—Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, with all seven now, except possibly Nelson, considered likely for a successful reelection to their Senate seats despite a negative vote on Kavanaugh.

78 “Swing” Districts In House Of Representatives, With A Minimum of 23 Switching Control In Midterm Elections Giving Democrats Control

It is estimated by political experts that there are 78 “Swing” districts in the House of Representatives, which could go either way in November.

History tells us that with the exception of 1934, and 2002, the party NOT in the White House always gains seats, and often a large number of seats, and takes over the majority in Congress, as in 1946, 1954, 1994, 2006, and 2010.

Since the Democrats only need 23 seats to switch control of the lower house of Congress, it is hard to imagine that this will not occur.

There are plenty of seats that could change due to the Trump policies and programs, particularly in states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and California, with selected seats in other states many of them “Red” for Trump.

More likely than just 23 seats is the possibility of a massive switch of seats, possibly as many as 40 or more seats going to the Democrats.

If such happens, which polls seem to show likely to occur, we will have the ability of the House of Representatives to fully investigate many scandals and controversies that have been pushed aside by the Republican majority.

And impeachment of Donald Trump would be likely in 2019, just as Robert Mueller comes to conclusions on his investigation of Trump for Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, abuse of the Emoluments Clause, and so much else.

Conviction would be difficult, nearly impossible, of Trump on impeachment charges, but his erratic behavior could lead to pressure for him to resign, and since Mike Pence wants to be President, do not be so sure he would not turn against his boss at some point, as hard as that is to imagine right now in late July 2018.

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh A Very Political Choice, Reminding Us Of Past Political Wars

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh comes across as a very nice man on the surface, with a nice family, and a long history and record as a Judge on the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

He is smart enough and well spoken enough, but that is not enough for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh is a political “animal”, involved in the Ken Starr Impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton two decades ago, and also engaged in the fight to help George W. Bush stop the vote count in the state of Florida in the Presidential election of 2000.

He also has a clear record of opposition to abortion rights as a devout Catholic who wishes to impose his personal views on the nation, instead of promoting “Stare Decisis”.

He also has a record of opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

So both of these important issues are now in danger as a result of his nomination.

Kavanaugh also has stated that a President should not face indictment and prosecution in office, which makes him a likely ally of Donald Trump in any future possibility of pursuing the President for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violation of the Emoluments clause, and Russian collusion.

It will be extremely difficult to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, but the Democrats, if they stay united, and if Republicans Susan Collins and or Lisa Murkowski can be convinced to oppose, it can be stopped.

These are very difficult times for progressives, but it is not time to give up, not yet at least!