Illinois

Puerto Rican Migration To Florida In Two Months 200,000, Double Original Estimate: A Harbinger Of Florida Turning “Blue” In Future Presidential Elections

The effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico will change future Presidential elections, with the Democratic Party winning the state in future contests for the White House.

Puerto Rico is losing a substantial portion of its citizenry due to the slow and inadequate response on the island to this natural disaster by the Trump Administration.

Some Puerto Ricans, all of whom are citizens of the US, and can register to vote immediately, have migrated to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, but the vast majority, more than 200,00, double the original estimate, have moved to Florida, preferring warm weather.

Most have settled in Central Florida, in the Orlando and Tampa areas, with the Puerto Rican population having multiplied since the 2010 Census, while a lesser number have moved to South Florida.

As long as these citizens register and vote, the largest number will vote Democratic, and in close races for the White House, that can make a difference, and it could also, over time, affect state elections for Governor and other executive offices, as well as the state legislature.

When Florida becomes reliably “Blue”, it will add 29 electoral votes in the 2020 Presidential election, and more than that once reapportionment of seats based on the 2020 Census, and in time for the 2024 and 2028 Presidential elections.

And when the Hispanic vote of any part of Latin America becomes larger and reliably Democratic, except for Cuban Americans then Georgia, Arizona, and eventually Texas will be “Blue”, and the Republicans are doomed on the Presidential level.

Only by voter suppression and discrimination will the GOP have a chance to win, and one can be sure they will use every imaginable tactic to prevent Hispanic voting, so Democrats have to work incessantly to insure that Hispanics are not denied the right to vote, including law suits to stop this disgraceful tactic of the party that, more than ever, represents the Tea Party mentality.

Republican Tax Plan Will Hurt Middle Class, Promote More Concentration Of Wealth, And Will Kill Republican Majority Whether It Passes Or Not!

The Republican Party’s attempt to promote “tax reform” will fail, whether it passes or not.

The likelihood is that Republicans in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California will refuse to vote for it, since it ends deduction of state and local income taxes on tax forms in those states.

It is also likely that a few Republicans in the US Senate will oppose it because of other aspects of the plan that make it uncomfortable to support.

The bill would victimize the middle class, and promote greater concentration of wealth in the top one percent and the corporations.

It would harm the white working class voters who put Donald Trump in office in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The legislation adds $1.75 trillion to the national debt, and cuts so many programs and benefits, displeasing deficit hawks because of the former, and moderates and independents due to the latter.

Charities will be harmed by the legislation, and home builders and real estate agents will be affected by limits on mortgage interest deductions, making people less willing to buy homes, and instead to rent their housing.

Corporations will gain the most from the legislation, and many Americans are angry that many corporations already pay little or no taxes.

The legislation would also hurt Obamacare in a different form, even after failure to repeal it earlier this year, and no replacement is offered for millions of Americans who benefit from it.

The end of the estate tax, which affects so few people, also will displease the average American, who does not understand why all inheritances should be untouched in any way by taxes, as wealthy people have a responsibility to pay their fair share in life, as well as at the end of life, rather than pass on tens of millions to their heirs, without any responsibility to contribute to the future of American society.

Also, medical deductions would be limited, and students who have massive loan payments would not be able to deduct any of them on their tax return, undermining the sick and the young.

One can expect that this legislation will not pass, and therefore will harm the Republican Party, but if somehow it does pass, it also will harm the Republican brand in the 2018 midterm elections!

Republican Philosophy: Every Fetus Must Be Born, But No Right To Care For Preexisting Conditions, And No Basic Right To Health Care Itself!

The Republican Party is a total disgrace in 2017.

It has allowed itself to become the party of death, not the party of life.

While adopting the extreme right wing position of being totally anti abortion, and subjecting women to the whims of religious extremists, that every fetus must be born, now the GOP has fully adopted the concept that once a fetus is born, that there is no right to care for preexisting conditions, which nearly half of Americans have in their lifetime, and no basic right to health care itself.

The party that freed the slaves, promoted racial equality, and advocated protection of the environment, now has become the party of Christian extremists and hard line Southern Confederate views, repudiating the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and many decent, principled office holders who were proud of the Republican traditions of the past 150 plus years.

Now, if you are not wealthy, to hell with your health, and if you die, such is life, and it most showed up when former one term Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, said he was not interested in having to pay more taxes to support the health care of an infant who had a need for heart surgery to survive.

What has happened to the concept of human decency, compassion, empathy, and concern for others?

What has happened to the idea that we all pay in through our taxes for the betterment of society, and if we do not end up getting back as much as we pay in, it means we have been fortunate enough not to need help from the government on the same scale as others?

What happened to the concept of religious values, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or whatever, that we are our brother’s keeper?

The Republican Party will be condemned in history for the passage in the House of Representatives yesterday of this reprehensible “tax care for the wealthy” bill, and it will NOT make it through the US Senate.

It was disgusting to see the House Republicans, led by despicable Speaker Paul Ryan, rushing to the Trump White House to celebrate the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, which, were it to become law, would insure tens of thousands of Americans, at the least, will die because they are not wealthy!

The wealthy have more than enough advantages, and do NOT need another tax cut, as it was those under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush which have obliterated much of the middle class, and accelerated the fall of millions into poverty since 1981.

The odds are heavy now that the Democrats will win at least the minimum number of seats, 24, to regain the House of Representatives majority, and even if the US Senate is not regained, it will change the playing field in 2019-2020, including the likelihood of the impeachment of demagogue Donald Trump!

For any decent human being to be a Republican in 2017, shame on you, and one can believe in karma, that you will be repaid appropriately in the next stage of your existence after your death on earth!

Donald Trump Declares War On Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, And Common Decency, Empathy And Compassion!

Donald Trump, in just three weeks in office, has declared war on Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, and common decency, empathy, and compassion.

He has acted as if he can send troops to Chicago to deal with the crime problem there, forgetting that the Mayor of Chicago and the Illinois Governor have ultimate authority over problems in Chicago. The only time when Presidents have sent in the National Guard over the desires of the state Governor was in the South during the Civil Rights Era, when the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, refused to promote safety for black students at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), and when the Governors of Mississippi (Ross Barnett) and of Alabama (George Wallace) refused to obey integration orders for the state universities in 1962 and 1963 (John F. Kennedy).

He has shown signs of trying to cut off funds to California and its university system, because of a confrontational demonstration against a hate mongering right wing extremist troublemaker at the University of California, Berkeley.

He has said he will cut off all funding to Sanctuary Cities across the nation that are out to protect undocumented immigrants, who now are being arrested and deported at record rates, breaking up families, and threatening DREAM kids with the possibility of being deported to a nation they have no memory of, since they came to this nation when very young, and had no choice in where they migrated to.

There is no debate that any felon, any criminal element–drug dealers, gangs, those who have committed major crimes–should and must be deported, but the simple act of people coming here for a better life, escaping persecution and violence in many nations, and those who overstay their visas, should not be included in the deportation.

And many do not understand or realize that millions of undocumented immigrants are making real contributions to our economy, and are not breaking the law, and are not criminal elements, and the breaking up of families and deportation of children is, in itself, a horrible criminal act by the US government.

How about cracking down on native born Americans who are felons, commit the vast number of terrorist acts in this country, and use their Christian faith as a justification for their bloodshed and violence?

Donald Trump and his administration lacks any sense of common decency, empathy or compassion.

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!

Four New Women Senators, And Now Total Of 21

In 2017, there will be 4 new women Senators and a grand total of 21, an all time high, up by one.

The four new women Senators are all Democrats, and altogether, there will be 16 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

California replaces Barbara Boxer, retired, with Kamala Harris, who is multi racial—a mother born in India, and her father being a Jamaican American from the Caribbean island—replacing Boxer, after having been Attorney General for six years.

Tammy Duckworth, who had been a Congresswoman from Illinois, replaced Senator Mark Kirk, and she is Asian American, born to a white American father and a Thai-Chinese mother in Thailand. She served in the military for 22 years, and was seriously wounded in the Iraq War, losing both legs and damaging her right arm.

Catherine Cortez Masto replaced Harry Reid, retiring, in Nevada. She was Attorney General of Nevada from 2007-2015. She is Latina with a Mexican American father and an Italian-American mother.

Maggie Hassan, the Governor of New Hampshire, defeated Senator Kelly Ayotte for her seat. She served two two year terms as Governor, after having served in the state legislature for three two year terms.

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!

Final Projections On Congressional Elections: The House Of Representatives And US Senate 2016

With five days to go to the Presidential and Congressional Elections of 2016, I wish to state what I believe will be the likely results in the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

It is very difficult to project the results in 435 Congressional elections, but it is clear that under present circumstances, and with the existent gerrymandering, the Republican Party has a tremendous edge in House races, and they have a 30 seat edge over the majority of 218 seats required.

Presently the balance in the House is 247-188, and I forecast that the Democrats will gain 18-20 seats, to a total of 229-206 or 227-208, a major gain, but not enough to gain control.

So we will have divided government, as we had in 2011-2014, but with the Senate assuredly going Democratic from a present total of 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats, to at least 52 Democrats and 48 Republicans–a six seat gain.

Illinois–Tammy Duckworth
Indiana–Evan Bayh
Wisconsin–Russ Feingold
New Hampshire–Maggie Hassan
Pennsylvania–Kathleen McGinty
North Carolina–Deborah Ross

Also, three other seats are possible:

Florida–Patrick Murphy
Missouri–Jason Kander
Arizona–Ann Kirkpatrick

Finally, Nevada will elect Catherine Cortez Masto to replace Harry Reid, keeping that seat Democratic.

So if everything went well, the maximum Democrats in the Senate would be 55-45, which would be significant, since in 2018, the Democrats have to protect two thirds of the open seats, and the party in the White House tends to lose seats in midterms, so if only 52, the Democrats might lose the Senate two years hence!

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

Michelle Obama Impresses As Orator: Could She Eventually Engage In Politics Directly A La Hillary Clinton?

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the most impressive speech of the Presidential election campaign a few days ago, deploring the conduct and statements of Republican nominee Donald Trump regarding women. She put into oratory what all decent people had been thinking and saying about Trump’s outrageous misogyny.

She was passionate and magnificent in her delivery, and she came across as a woman who, despite her denials, could be seen as a potential political candidate in the future, if she wished to, while she now claims she is not interested.

But her younger daughter Sasha will be out of high school in two years, and therefore, if she had a change of heart, she could run for an Illinois Senate seat in 2020, if Senator Dick Durbin, thought likely to retire, decides to do just that.

Clearly, it is too far ahead to speculate on 2020, but even Glenn Beck, the right wing talk show host, declared how impressive Michelle Obama was, and the First Lady has charisma and presence that is valuable in a political candidate.

Who can say that some day in the future that Michelle Obama might not seek the Presidency, as she is young enough to imagine a possible run in 2024 or 2028.

So Michelle Obama could become the next Hillary Clinton!