Gun Rights

Most Significant Issue Of Entire Campaign: The Supreme Court Future And A Democratic Majority US Senate!

No more important issue is on the plate for this election year than the Supreme Court future, tied into a Democratic Majority US Senate!

The Republicans have made it clear that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, but the Republicans retain the control of the Senate, that NO Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, and in fact, not even considered in hearings.

This is totally unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to occur for the next four years, as effectively, that is destroying the whole purpose of the separation of powers and constitutional government!

The Supreme Court has been Republican majority since 1972, and finally, the tipping point to a Democratic and more progressive/liberal Court is in the offing.

Such issues as the following could end up before the Court in the next four years:

Abortion
Affirmative Action
Campaign Finance
Class Action Suits
Climate Change
Contraception
Gun Rights
Immigration Reform
LGBTQ Rights
ObamaCare
Redistricting
Unions
Voter ID Laws
Voting Rights

The Growing Threat Of Donald Trump Against The Life Of His Opponent, Hillary Clinton: NOT A Laughing Matter!

Donald Trump has done it again–a threat against the life of his Democratic Presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

On August 8, Trump spoke of “Second Amendment” remedies, that those who oppose the limiting of gun rights in any fashion, and see Hillary as a threat to those rights, might have a solution to the threat, implying action against Clinton.

He was roundly condemned for this assertion, and Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and NSA, said if anyone outside the hall where the speech was given had said such a thing, he would be in a police wagon being questioned, and facing prosecution.

And Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, referring to the Newtown Massacre that killed 24 young children and six teachers in December 2012, said Trump was reckless and would have blood on his hands if such an event occurred.

But Trump went ahead and said on September 16 that Clinton should agree to have her Secret Service team lay down their arms and “see what happens”, so he has not learned from the earlier incident.

Trump should be told now that his freedom of speech does NOT include such reckless language that could endanger his opponent, and that if something untoward were to happen, that he could face prosecution for having presented “a clear and present danger”, under Supreme Court case Schenck V US (1919), which limits freedom of speech.

And this is all happening in the month when there were eight incidents involving President and assassination threats, and also the assassination of Huey Long in 1935, all covered in the chapters of my Assassinations book, which will be in paperback by March 2017.

Donald Trump And Mike Pence Are, Fundamentally, Extremely Different: An Ineffective Team Which Will Not Win White House!

Mike Pence is a good speaker and we can give him credit for that.

But he has had vastly different beliefs on so many issues with Donald Trump:

Trade Agreements
The Mexico Wall
Muslim Immigration
The Iraq War
Gay Rights
Abortion Rights

Pence is anti environment; anti women’s rights; anti labor rights; totally pro gun rights; more concerned about religious rights of Christians than basic civil rights for all Americans; and is much more socially conservative in general than Donald Trump ever was before he announced for President a year ago.

Mike Pence is NOT in the mainstream of the nation, and was an early Tea Party supporter.

Mike Pence would not be utilized as an active Vice President by Donald Trump, but it does not really matter in the end.

Mike Pence is NOT going to be the next Vice President of the United States!

Background Checks Bills For Gun Purchases Has Oregon Added To List Of States That Have Adopted Gun Safety Legislation

The fight for basic background checks legislation for gun purchases in the states is a long, hard fought struggle, but Oregon has now been added to the list.

The following 17 states have adopted such legislation:

Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
New York
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Maryland
North Carolina
Michigan
Illinois
Iowa
Nebraska
Colorado
Washington State
California
Hawaii
Oregon

Notice that some of these states are Republican controlled states, including New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska, so there is some hope that more states will adopt such legislation over time.

But the power of the National Rifle Association is so great that we will see much gun violence continuing without any kind of accountability for many who buy guns at a gun show, privately, or online.

So the memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012 still is an issue ignored by many who push the absolute right to guns, without efforts to restrict unstable people from gaining such weapons.

So the reality of at least 1,000 people on the average every month are killed by gun violence, whether by criminals, people familiar to the victims, mentally unstable people, suicide, or by pure accidents.

Tom Coburn Blocks Funding To Prevent Veteran Suicides, Now 22 Per Day, As He Leaves The US Senate

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is about to leave the US Senate after ten years, and six previous years in the US House of Representatives.

Coburn has been one of the absolutely worst members of Congress, known as MR. NO, constantly blocking action on numerous pieces of legislation by using “senatorial privilege” to use a personal block to prevent legislation he does not like. He has abused his position in the Senate, and will NOT be missed by anyone who believes in rational, decent behavior, which Coburn seems incapable of!

Coburn has opposed abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and gay rights, and has supported gun rights and the death penalty. He has also been against deficit spending and pork barrel projects to the extreme. He has also worked against environmentalists on a regular basis, in that joining his Oklahoma colleague, Senator James Inhofe, making Oklahoma the state with the combination of the two worst Senators of any state in the Union!

Coburn is a medical doctor, an obstetrician, who, however, has opposed Obama Care. His commitment to life is clearly, a mixed one, as he has now caused outrage in opposing a bill to promote veterans suicide prevention, which is at 22 veterans per day, complaining it would not work, and that its $22 million cost is too much. This is beyond belief, as $22 million is a literal drop in the bucket of the federal government budget, and is supported by a vast margin of the US Senate and House, as the least that can be done to stem the suicide epidemic facing former military personnel.

The whole concept of “Senatorial privilege” to use a personal block to stop a bill should be ended, as no member of Congress all by himself or herself, should be able to stop what a vast majority of the Congress wishes to do!

How can this Senator sleep at night, and we can all hope that he will drop his opposition to this bill before Congress adjourns, as there is no justification for his preventing what the vast majority of Congress supports! He can vote NO of course, but should not be able to block the legislation all on his own!

Sandy Hook Elementary School One Year Later

It has been one year since the massacre of 20 children and six teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut,

Just yesterday we had another tragedy, with a student in a high school in Colorado wounding two students before killing himself.

The threat to schools, theaters, shopping malls, churches and all other public places continues, and the country seems paralyzed by inability to do anything about the mounting number of gun deaths, and the reality that many mentally disturbed people have access to guns.

America is the most dangerous nation in the civilized world, and we are looked upon in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan as a nation out of control when it comes to violence.

And every day, President Obama is subjected to rhetorical and real threats to his life, in a nation where the right wing will not stop in its quest to poison the atmosphere with hate and division, and fears that the government is coming to get one’s guns.

The question is what future tragedy will finally move the Congress and the state governments to face the threat to civil order represented by the gun culture, with the sad feeling that nothing will change the national illness we have amidst us!

Republican National Committee Report: “Too Old, Too White, Too Insular”, But Is Change Of Tone Enough?

The Republican National Committee has come up with a 100 page report, making clear that the party is in deep trouble because it is seen by the general population as “too old, too white, too insular”, and that a change of “tone” is needed!

Actually, the report does not go far enough, as the party is also seen as a party that is against women, against Hispanics and Latinos, against African Americans, against Asian Americans, against the younger generation, against gays and lesbians, against the poor, against the working class, against the middle class, against the environment, against labor unions, against science, against the environment—while being pro the top two percent, pro corporation, pro foreign policy interventions overseas, pro extreme right wing evangelical Christianity, pro gun rights, and condemning of the news media, the universities, and the entertainment industry!

The GOP has a need to change a great deal, but based on the Conservative Political Action Conference display of its motivations and statements, and the embarrassment of many of the speakers, including Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann among many others, their road back to majority status is a very long one, and possibly will never occur!

“Don’t Drone Me, Bro”—The Self Destruction Of Rand Paul AND Ted Cruz!

When Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke yesterday at the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a supporter yelled: “Don’t drone me, Bro”, referring to Paul’s 13 hour filibuster demanding an answer from President Obama that he would never use a drone on an American citizen on American soil, a stunt which gave Senator Paul a lot of attention, and led to his promoting the idea of the likelihood of his Presidential candidacy in 2016.

Meanwhile, Texas Senator Ted Cruz showed just what a bully, and an arrogant, overbearing person he is, making himself very unpopular even among fellow Republican Senators with his loony absolute interpretation of the Second Amendment, and showing lack of respect for Senator Diane Feinstein, who lived through the carnage of the murder of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in 1978. The fact that even Justice Antonin Scalia has stated that there are limits to the Second Amendment does not phase Senator Cruz, as he fancies himself to be a “constitutionalist”!

Both of these Republican Senators fancy that the nation is ready for their looniness—Paul, the libertarian, who wants to bring about a utopian world of little government in people’s lives; and Cruz, using Joseph McCarthy type demagogic techniques to create turmoil and mistrust, and also to throw a “firebomb” as a method to grab for more power and influence!

Both Senators are upstart freshmen, who are showing total ignorance and total disrespect for the institution of the Senate, and their style and methods are designed to promote their own ambition, but will have the effect over time, if not fought bitterly by sane elements, to destroy the Republican Party and its long, much of the time, respectable history and leadership!

The nation is NOT going to accept either Senator Paul or Senator Cruz as their Commander in Chief, as they both, in different and competing ways, are promoting anarchy and chaos in the political arena, and are both VERY dangerous!

The Alleged “RINOS”: Colin Powell, Jon Huntsman, Chuck Hagel. Richard Lugar And Others

Those who call themselves “Republicans”, but promote the Tea Party agenda domestically; the Neoconservative agenda in foreign policy; the social policies of the fundamentalist Christian right, the Radio Talk Show hosts and Fox News Channel; the fanatical gun rights advocates of the National Rifle Association; and other right wing extremists, represent the downfall of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush.

And it is precisely these groups within the GOP who condemn Colin Powell, Jon Huntsman, Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar and others as being “RINOS”–Republicans In Name Only!

But it is precisely people such as Powell, Huntsman, Hagel and Lugar who represent the moderate conservative approach to government, a mainstream viewpoint which includes understanding that negotiation and compromise is essential to the workings of American democracy.

These people above are thoughtful, rational, accomplished leaders in the party, but they are being swept aside—Powell ignored and pilloried by many; Huntsman quickly being repudiated in the Presidential primaries; Hagel now facing a massive battle to overcome opposition within his own party to be confirmed as Secretary of Defense; and Lugar defeated in a Senate primary by an extremist who then lost the Senate seat that Lugar had held for 36 years.

As Powell said yesterday on a television interview, it concerns him that his party is ignoring the demographic reality of the growth of minorities in the voting population, and they have a problem with skin color and ethnicity. Hard to believe that is is the party that ended slavery and promoted civil rights in the mid 19th century!

Guns, Gays, Immigrants, Women: The Demise Of The Republican Party

The Republican Party is allowing itself to fall into a “coma” from which it will not recover if there is not fast action to reverse their course.

It is rapidly becoming the “stupid” party, the irrelevant party, the party of the 19th century, the party that makes the organization that gave us Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower look glorious and forward looking, while putting those who admire that original party now feel a need to engage in deep mourning for what has been lost!

A party that worships guns, as if we are on the frontier fighting native Americans, and are living in the era of the American Revolution and the Civil War, is a party in deep denial. To see the right of people to own multiple weapons and large magazines, and have no concern about the death of children and adults in all public places imaginable, is to see a party of delusion.

A party that led on the issue of the end of slavery and passed the first civil rights laws, now leads the crusade to promote hate and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, and to allow right wing Christian wing nuts to preach a Christianity which denies equality and justice and tolerance to such human beings makes it a party which has forgotten about the Founding Fathers’ beliefs in separation of church and state.

A party which legitimizes nativism, hatred of immigrants, as one of its major ideals, is a party that refuses to face the future, one in which immigrants will be the dominant factor in our politics and society, and forgets its own fundamental roots among immigrant groups in the 19th century who believed in the reform principles that founded the party.

And a party which fails to respect women’s rights and dignity, and treats them as second class citizens due to the influence of right wing Christian extremists, is a party on the road to extinction.

The Republican Party has been given plenty of warnings about its impending demise. The question now is whether it will revive itself from its coma and come into the 21st century, and promote rationality, tolerance, and open mindedness, or become a party which is an historical oddity, which went from a positive image, to one of an extremist group out of touch with the American people and their needs for the future!