Florida

The House Freedom Caucus: Extreme Right Wing Group Destructive Of Common Decency And Compassion For Elderly, Poor, Disabled

The House Freedom Caucus is a group of about 30 extreme right wing Republicans, who are the balance of power in the House Republican caucus.

They are the outcome of the Tea Party Movement, begun in 2009 when Barack Obama became President, and they are now the biggest problem for President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, as they work to destroy Obama Care, and show no concern about the 24 million Americans who will lose health care insurance if the Republican Party achieves its goal, now about to be voted on in the House of Representatives in the next few days or weeks.

An examination of the membership of this caucus shows that 60 percent are from the South (including three from Texas, three from Virginia, three from Florida, two from Alabama,and two from South Carolina, and one each from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and West Virginia), and three more from Arizona, one from Colorado, one from New Mexico, one from Idaho, one from Michigan, two from Ohio, one from Iowa, one from Maryland, and one from Pennsylvania, and they have no concern about the lives or health of the sick, disabled, elderly, and poor who will lose health care.

This group has no common decency or compassion, and if allowed to hold sway, their goal is to destroy the federal government and its agencies, and to restore America to what it was before the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

This group believes in unbridled capitalism, and supports the increase in wealth of the top one percent of the nation, at the expense of the dwindling middle class and the poor, and includes in its midst many who are openly racist, nativist, misogynist, and homophobic.

They are really those who prefer chaos and disarray. and are anarchists, who threaten the whole idea of the faith they profess to believe in, Christianity, as they fail to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and instead follow the beliefs of Ayn Rand. Selfishness and greed and hate are what motivates them. Saving taxes for the rich is their only goal.

So we are in for very difficult times for millions of Americans, as the Trump nightmare continues!

The Positive Contributions Of The Joe Biden Vice Presidency

Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, is leaving public life after 44 years in the federal government, 36 as a US Senator from Delaware, and 8 years as Vice President.

Joe Biden is a true national treasure, who if not for the death of his son, Beau Biden, in May 2015, might have run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might very well have defeated Hillary Clinton, and then won the election in the crucial states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Although Biden will be 78 in 2020, he has the energy, the knowledge, the experience needed to defeat Donald Trump, and he just might return to the Senate in 2018, if Tom Carper follows through on his plans to retire.

So it is not yet time to say Biden’s career is over, although in elective office, it might be, but he will play a public role because it is in his blood to do so, and he will not stay silent when he sees wrongs being done by the Donald Trump Administration.

The alliance of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was the closest one in American history, possibly matched by Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, who in two days will have both survived the amazing total of 36 years since the Presidency and 40 years since their election in 1976!

Obama utilized Biden’s connections on Capitol Hill; and gave Biden an office in the White House, as Carter had done for Mondale; and had weekly lunches with Biden as Carter did with Mondale.

Joe Biden was a true Presidential Advisor, full time participant, and trouble shooter, and was not afraid to disagree with Obama, particularly on foreign policy, his expertise, but was always a loyal part of the team once a decision had been made by the President.

Biden’s warm, sincere personality was lovable, and he was able to work across the aisle on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and other influential Republicans, and the entire Senate honored him recently for his cordial and effective role in the Senate.

Biden took the lead on gay rights and gay marriage; protection of women against violence; immigration reform; environmental advancements; gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre; and the War on Cancer after his son died of that horrendous disease. Foreign leaders also, totally, respected him.

Joe Biden could be regarded as the greatest Vice President in American history, and his lifelong contributions will mark him in history as a very special political leader!

Thank you for your service to the nation and to Barack Obama, Vice President Biden!

Marco Rubio And Rand Paul Leading Struggle Against Trumpian Foreign Policy In Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are leading the struggle against Trumpian foreign policy, particularly in relation to Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Both were highly critical of Secretary of State nominee Rex TIllerson, who has zero foreign policy experience, and has spent his entire work career with Exxon Mobil, the largest corporation in the world.

Both put Tillerson’s “feet to the fire” today, and if both vote against him, he will be denied the chance to have a floor vote in the Senate, assuming that all Democrats oppose Tillerson as well.

Donald Trump is certainly on a collision course with his own party in Congress, and seems to relish it.

He reminds us most of Richard Nixon, but even Nixon did not set out to alienate his own party as Trump has.

So now we are nine days away from the official beginning of a nightmare, with a man determined to be as dictatorial as his party, the opposition party, the courts, and the news media will allow him.

It is going to be a tumultuous, confrontational four years, and the question is how much it will harm the American people, including those stupid and ignorant enough to have voted for the man often called the “Orange Trumpolini”.

How Slim Margins Decide So Many Presidential Elections And Affect American History And Government Policies!

The argument that many ill informed people have is that “voting does not matter”, when just the opposite is true.

As we begin 2017 and the reality of President Trump in 19 days, a look at history tells us clearly how small numbers of votes or percentages of votes make a dramatic difference, as demonstrated in the following elections in American history:

1844– a switch of a few thousand votes in New York would have given the election to Henry Clay, instead of James K. Polk, and the difference was the small third party, the Liberty Party.

1848–a switch of a few thousand votes, again in New York, would have given the election to Lewis Cass, instead of Zachary Taylor, but Free Soil Party nominee, Martin Van Buren, former Democratic President and from New York, won ten percent of the total national vote, and threw the election to Whig candidate Taylor in New York.

1876—the dispute over the contested votes of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida led to a special Electoral Commission set up, which rewarded all of those three states’ electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, although Democrat Samuel Tilden led nationally by about 250,000 popular votes.

1880–James A. Garfield won the popular vote by the smallest margin ever, about 2,000 votes, and won the big state of New York by only 20,000 votes, in defeating his opponent Winfield Scott Hancock.

1884–Grover Cleveland won his home state of New York by about 1,000 votes, which decided the election, and nationally only by about 57,000 votes over James G. Blaine.

1888–Grover Cleveland won the national popular vote by about 90,000, but lost in close races in his home state of New York and opponent Benjamin Harrison’s home state of Indiana, so lost the Electoral College, as Harrison became President. The Harrison lead in New York was less than 14,000 votes and in Indiana, less than 2,000.

1916—Woodrow Wilson won California by less than 4,000 votes, but enough to elect him to the White House over Republican Charles Evans Hughes.

1948–Harry Truman won three states by less than one percent–Ohio, California and Illinois–over Thomas E. Dewey, and that decided the election.

1960–John F. Kennedy won Illinois by about 8,000 votes; Texas by about 46,000 votes; and Hawaii by under 200 votes, and only had a two tenths of one percentage point popular vote victory nationally, about 112,000 votes, over Richard Nixon.

1976–Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford by two percentage points, but a switch of 5,600 votes in Ohio and 3,700 votes in Hawaii would have given the election to Ford.

2000—Al Gore lost Florida by 537 votes, in the final judgment of the Supreme Court, which intervened in the election, and had he won Florida, he would have been elected President, even though he won the national popular vote by about 540,000. Bush also won New Hampshire by only about 7,000 votes, but won the Electoral College 271-266.

2016–Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by about 2.85 million, but lost the crucial states of Michigan by about 10,000; Wisconsin by about 22,000; and Pennsylvania by about 46,000, to Donald Trump, so together about 79,000 votes decided the Electoral College.

So the idea that voting is not important, does not matter, is proved wrong so many times in American history! Every vote does indeed count, and has long range implications on who sits in the White House, and what policies are pursued, which affect all of us!

Could Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Or Bernie Sanders Have Won In 2016?

President Barack Obama has opined that had he been able to run for a third term, which is forbidden by the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution since 1951, that he would have defeated Donald Trump.

That brings to mind the issue whether if Vice President Joe Biden had been the nominee, whether he could have won over Donald Trump.

And also, the issue arises whether Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had overcome Hillary Clinton in delegates, could he have won.

The gut feeling of this author and blogger is that either Obama or Biden would have been able to win enough additional support to overcome the Clinton deficit in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and also possibly in Florida and Ohio as well.

On the other hand, this author feels that Bernie Sanders, despite his inspiring campaign and support from millennials, and seen as the protest candidate as much as Donald Trump to many, would NOT have won, and the reasons are sad and unpleasant.

Sanders being Jewish, although he is not at all religious in any sense, would have worked against him, as anti Semitism is still an ugly reality in America.

Also, the fact that Sanders calls himself a Socialist, although far from scary or terrifying in reality, would likely have been used by Donald Trump against him, as Trump actually did call Sanders a “Communist” once or twice during campaign rallies, and the ignorant, clueless people who backed Trump would not be intelligent enough to understand the difference, and that Sanders is more like a Scandinavian Socialist from Norway or Sweden, and is no danger in any sense to American traditions.

So the best judgment of this author is that Obama or Biden could have won, but not Sanders.

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

79,829–Number That Prevented Hillary Clinton From Winning Presidency!

New vote counts indicate that Hillary Clinton gained about 30,000 votes in Philadelphia that had not yet been counted before today, bringing Donald Trump’s margin in Pennsylvania down from about 77,000 to 47,000 votes!

Add the approximate 10,000 vote margin of Trump in Michigan,and the 22,000 vote margin of Trump in Wisconsin, and that explains Trump’s win over Clinton, despite a 2.5 million popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump.

So anyone who still says voting does not matter now knows it makes ALL the difference in the world, and transforms American history.

And now we know that IF Jill Stein had not been on the ballot in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, assuming all of the Green Party votes would have gone to Clinton, she would have won, again showing how the Green Party made the difference, as it did in New Hampshire and Florida in 2000 with Ralph Nader, and denied Al Gore the Presidency, and gave it to George W. Bush.

This demonstrates that the Green Party has managed to harm the environmental cause twice, and one has to be furious, that the environment was harmed under George W. Bush, and is likely to be harmed greater now under Donald Trump.

So the Green Party did in its own purpose of being, showing the destructive nature of a third party that denied us two outstanding people who should have been President!

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

Hillary Clinton Popular Vote Lead At Over 2 Million, As Evidence Of Voter Irregularities Rises In Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, And Even Florida!

This morning, we learn that Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead over Donald Trump is over 2 million and counting, four times the popular vote lead of Al Gore over George W. Bush in 2000.

Hillary Clinton has a greater popular vote lead than John F. Kennedy in 1960, Richard Nixon in 1978 and Jimmy Carter in 1976.

And now, there is growing evidence of voter irregularities in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, as well as questions about how Hillary Clinton had such a popular vote lead in early voting, including 27 percent of Republicans, in Florida, and then, magically loses the Sunshine State. Evidence of fixing and hacking, maybe by Russian intervention, seems possible.

Was this election rigged, as Donald Trump claimed it would be, but in his favor, rather than against him?

Are we having the Presidency stolen, as many thought in 2000, by Republican led state governments, as in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida, although not so in Pennsylvania?

Will we ever know for sure, and is there any point, two weeks after the election, to contest it, and create an uproar, or should we all move on and accept the inevitable, President Elect Donald Trump?

This author is torn, but at this point, with two weeks to absorb the immensity of what has happened, it seems, somehow, pointless to pursue a law suit, as all it will do is further “poison the well”, so to speak.

This is said with a heavy heart and great sadness, but it is time to move on, it seems to me, and allow Trump whatever “honeymoon” he may have, wish him the best, and be ready to challenge him, as it is certain will happen soon, and on a regular basis, over the next four years, and hope for the best in a terrible situation.

National Popular Vote Bill A Major Electoral College Reform That Can Overcome 5 Times Where Popular Vote Winner Has Lost Presidency

In the midst of the great disillusionment over having a popular vote winner losing the Presidency for the second time in 16 years, and 5 times in American history, attention is being brought to a method to overcome that travesty without the need for a constitutional amendment to end the Electoral College.

11 states with 165 electoral votes have passed legislation that provides that their states’ electoral votes will go to the national winner of the popular vote.

The bill has passed one house in 12 additional states with 96 electoral votes, and would take place once states with a total of 105 electoral votes take such action.

It passed overwhelmingly in three Republican chambers, in Arizona, Oklahoma and New York, and in one Democratic chamber in Oregon.

More than 70 percent in polls on the topic support this change in the Electoral College, as a true example of democracy, so that never again do we have the horrible situation that has now occurred twice in a generation.

We would have a true national campaign every four years if this was enacted, instead of having only about 12 states gaining visits by the major party Presidential candidates.

Why should North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Nevada. along with a few other states, have the privilege of crowds being able to see the Presidential candidates, while, for example, New York, Texas, California, Illinois, and other states with large populations are denied visits, along with many other states?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former Congressman Bob Barr, both of Georgia, both Republicans, have endorsed the change, even though each of the five times the popular vote winner in American history was a Democrat, and four times the Republicans won without the popular vote! So they have displayed bipartisanship on this issue.

This needs to be accomplished before 2020! There needs to be a national demand by the American people that the present situation never happens again!