Gaylord Nelson

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 49th Earth Day: The Attack By Scott Pruitt And Ryan Zinke In Full Swing

Today, April 22, is the 49th Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970, although earlier promoted by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, considered the true “founder” of the modern environmental movement.

We have come a long way in the movement to preserve our environment, with many heroes in that movement,

We can look back to Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir and many others at the beginning of the 20th century.

We can look forward to such people as Ralph Nader, Jimmy Carter, Cecil Andrus, Al Gore, Bruce Babbitt, and a multitude of others who deserve praise.

But we also have the enemies of the environmental movement, from the time of Ronald Reagan onward, and including many Republican senators over the years.

And now, we have the Donald Trump Presidency, and the evil being done every day by Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and by Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, who are trying to destroy all efforts at protecting us from climate change, global warming, and the damage to wildlife and to our national park and national monument system.

The fight for the environment must be fought against all enemies, as it is the future of the planet at stake!

Two Former Democratic Senators On Way To Return To US Senate: Russ Feingold And Evan Bayh!

It seems as if two former Democratic Senators are on their way to a return to the US Senate this November.

Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, one of the very best progressive oriented Senators in all of American history, who lost his seat in the 2010 midterm elections to businessman and Republican Ron Johnson, after serving from 1992-2010, is now way ahead of Johnson, and so we will have a rare rematch. Johnson has been a horrible, extremist right wing Senator, and his leaving the Senate will be a plus for the institution, and re-install the progressive tradition, established by the La Follette father and son, Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. a century ago, and followed up by William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson and Feingold.

Evan Bayh of Indiana, son of the great liberal Senator Birch Bayh, served in the Senate from 1998-2010, and chose not to run for reelection, but now is coming back to win his Senate seat. Bayh is much more moderate than his dad was, but Indiana is a tough state for a progressive, and Bayh is a plus for the Democrats, as they attempt to win a Senate majority, so important for the Supreme Court future.

The odds of a Democratic takeover of the Senate is growing as we come down to one month to the elections.

Richard Nixon And The Environment: Looking Back On Earth Day

Richard Nixon is rated very low in rankings of Presidents, and in many ways, rightfully.

But it was Nixon who promoted the environment more than any President until his time, except for Theodore Roosevelt.

It was Richard Nixon who promoted and signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency, and backed and signed into law the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Endangered Species Act. He also had Walter Hickel in his cabinet as one of the greatest Secretaries of the Interior in American history.

Nixon may have done some of this for purely political reasons, but the legacy he left is still massive in the area of the environment.

When one looks at the Republican Party today, we know that if it was left up to them, they would set out to weaken and, if they could, destroy federal involvement in the environment, with most of them even denying global warming and climate change!

Ironically, the first Earth Day was started by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, and we saw Richard Nixon die on Earth Day in 1994!

Wisconsin Political History: Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde!

The state of Wisconsin, the cheese and dairy state, has had a distinguished history in many respects.

It was the base of the great Mr. Progressive, Governor and Senator Robert La Follette, Sr, who also was the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1924, and had the third best percentage of the vote of any third party nominee in history, with one out of every six voters backing him.

It was the state of his son, Senator Robert La Follette, Jr, and also of his second son, Governor Philip La Follette, both leading Progressives in the 1930s.

It was the state of Senator Gaylord Nelson,  Senator Herb Kohl, Senator William Proxmire, and Senator Russ Feingold, the latter now seeking to regain his Senate seat that he lost to Ron Johnson in 2010, with these two men running against each other again in 2016.  It was also the state of Governor Patrick Lucey and Gaylord Nelson, before the latter became a Senator.

It is the state of Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first lesbian US Senator.

However, it was also the state of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the infamous Red Scare leader in the 1950s.

It is also the state of the disgraceful Governor Scott Walker; Senator Ron Johnson; and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, all very willing to work against the interests of the middle class and the poor.

How a state with a progressive tradition can often “go off the rails” is hard to understand.

But the progressive-liberal tradition remains a significant part of the Wisconsin historical story!

Now it is becoming the center of attention again, after Scott Walker endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican primary to be held next week, with Cruz leading Donald Trump in polls; and Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton in polls for the Democrats.

Serious Republican Presidential Contenders: Part I–Scott Walker Of Wisconsin

Having looked at 12 Republican Presidential contenders who, together, make up a clown bus, it is time to analyze now the four serious Presidential contenders, and today we will look at Scott Walker.

The Governor of Wisconsin has won three elections for Governor, including a recall vote in 2012. That in itself makes him a formidable candidate.

He is backed by the Koch Brothers, Charles and David Koch, and that means he will have whatever financing is needed for a Presidential campaign.

But in league with the Koch Brothers, Walker has declared war on organized labor, and dramatically weakened the public labor unions in Wisconsin, leading to the recall vote in 2012, which, surprisingly, he won.

Walker has said he hopes to destroy the labor union movement nationally if he is elected President.

He has also presided over widespread corruption and cronyism, which is starting to be investigated by news media and prosecutors, and he could face an indictment anytime, similar to what has happened to former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and might happen to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Already, there are accusations that he gave corporate supporters and campaign donors $124 million in taxpayer money.

The question of why Walker never finished college has not been answered, with the belief he might have been expelled. The idea that he did not have time to return to finish one semester of college is lame, and he would be the first non college graduate in the Presidency since Harry Truman. And Truman was well read and thoughtful, while Walker has shown no signs of such, but only of promoting his own ambitions at the expense of average working Americans in Wisconsin. He has worked to destroy the Wisconsin progressive tradition of Robert La Follette, Sr., Robert La Follette, Jr., William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson, Patrick Lucey, Russ Feingold and others of both parties in the Badger state!

And considering that such politicians as Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann, and many others who are not exactly brilliant, DID finish college makes one wonder about Walker and why he did not make it a goal to finish a four year degree!

Yes, it is true that only about one third of adults have finished a four year degree, but the President of the United States is supposed to be better than most of us in his educational attainments.

This does not mean that finishing a college degree guarantees success in life, or even great intellect, but still it seems like it should be a basic requirement that a President and his top advisers, and members of Congress and state legislatures SHOULD have finished a four year degree, at the least, if such person wishes to govern us.

Walker’s anti labor stance; his connection to the Koch Brothers; and his lack of a college four year degree are just the tip of the iceberg, and with corruption charges seemingly likely soon, Scott Walker should NOT be permitted to be the 45th President of the Unites States!

Scott Walker, The New “Glamour Boy” Of The GOP: A Lightweight Candidate For President!

The new “glamour boy” of the Republican Party, being touted by many observers, is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who wowed many at the Iowa Conservative Conference, hosted by Tea Party Congressman Steve King.

Walker is a favorite of the Koch Brothers, who helped Walker to survive the recall attempt in 2012, and helped him win the gubernatorial race in 2014.

Since this third victory in four years, Scott Walker has been very cocky, arrogant and egotistical, bragging about having had three victories for Governor in four years, and how he is the “new face” that the Republican Party needs to win the Presidency.

The argument is that he can carry the Midwest and gain his home state for the Republicans, a claim that no serious political analyst believes to be true.

YES, a Governor who is Republican can win many states, but winning a Presidential election is something very different!

Walker has zero foreign policy expertise and knowledge, and demonstrated it on ABC’s This Week, in an interview with Martha Radditz. He showed the same lack of knowledge and smarts as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin showed in 2008.

Walker has done great damage to labor; to education; to health care for the poor and disadvantaged; and is being investigated for his connections to Tea Party and outside corporate interests.

Walker has taken the state of Robert LaFollette, Sr.; Robert LaFollette, Jr.; William Proxmire; Gaylord Nelson; Patrick Lucey; and Russ Feingold, and brought corruption and undermining of good government to the Badger State.

For that, he cannot be forgiven, and the goal must be to undermine his potential front runner status, mostly coming about as a “fresh face”, instead of retreads, such as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabbee; and more extreme right wingers, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.

Scott Walker is bad news, and he is starting to be exposed for the phony he is, and the lack of intellect that he clearly demonstrates!

Earth Day, Richard Nixon, And Gaylord Nelson

Today is Earth Day, the annual day we dedicate to appreciation of the environment, a move pushed by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, often forgotten, and declared by President Richard Nixon in 1970 for the first time.

It seems like an eternity ago that we had Democrats and many Republicans agree that the environment was an important issue that had to be addressed, and we must give credit to Richard Nixon for having initiated Earth Day as a Presidential declaration 44 years ago.

Ironically, today is also the 20th anniversary of the death of Richard Nixon, a President who in many ways is one of the worst Chief Executives, but also is one of the best in other ways, including the establishment, with Democratic Congressional prodding, of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

How sad that today almost no Republicans are willing to see the significance of the environment, and the crisis of climate change, as the country and the world move toward environmental disaster!

Earth Day Number 44—The Constant Battle Against Corporations

Today is the 44th Earth Day, first promoted by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and endorsed by President Richard Nixon.

The environmental movement has had its successes under Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

At the same time, the environmentalists have had major setbacks under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, particularly under Reagan and the second Bush, the two worst environmental Presidents of the last century, while Carter and Nixon stand out as the best environmental Presidents after Theodore Roosevelt.

The corporate world has been responsible for much of the damage to our environment since the Industrial Age, with their mad dash for profits and lack of concern for the health and safety of the people in the areas they produced steel, mined coal, drilled oil, and the myriad of other industrial activities that produced a massive wealth ending up in the hands of a small oligarchy. They exploited their workers and took advantage of consumers, along with destruction of the environment, and without any apologies. And they still have massive influence with both parties, and any ability to deal with the issue of environmental damage is always counteracted by the financial resources of corporations out to prevent any major changes in policy and regulation.

So while progress has been made over these years since 1970, there is still a massive battle for the future of the nation’s environmental health over the long term. Environmentalists cannot let up their battles on Capitol Hill and in the courts!

Wisconsin: The Home Of Progressivism, Now A Center Of Right Wing Conservatism

Wisconsin was the birthplace of modern progressivism, with the Governorship of Robert La Follette, Sr. from 1900-1906.

Regarded by scholars as the greatest Governor in the history of all states throughout American history, La Follette promoted regulation of corporations, labor protections, environmental conservation, the direct primary, and the role of women and intellectuals in government policy making.

A Republican, when many believed government was good, he would go on to the US Senate, and be regarded as one of the top five US Senators of all time, and his son Philip would promote progressive reform as Governor in the 1930s.

Others would be in state government and in Congress promoting what La Follette believed in, including Democrats such as William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson, Russ Feingold, and Herbert Kohl.

But two years ago, Wisconsin took a sharp turn to the right, defeating Russ Feingold for reelection to the Senate, and putting into office a Tea Party activist, Ron Johnson.

At the same time, Scott Walker was elected Governor, and declared war on labor rights, women, and education, and was able to win a recall election through the power of the funding of the Koch Brothers and other right wing interests.

Reince Preibus, the Republican state chairman, succeeded Michael Steele as Republican National Chairman.

And Paul Ryan, in the House of Representatives since 1998, became head of the Budget Committee, and promoted the Ryan Plan, which wishes to destroy Medicare as we know it, and calls for major cuts in Pell Grants, the end of ObamaCare, privatization of Social Security over time, the gutting of Medicaid, and massive cuts in Food Stamps, among other aspects of the plan.

And now, Ryan could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency next January 20, were Mitt Romney to win the Presidency on November 6.

The battle between progressivism and conservatism is in full heat, and Wisconsin is the center of the battle, and one wonders what Robert La Follette, Sr. is thinking in the afterlife, as he realizes what has happened in his beloved state!