Independents

State Politics Much More Complicated Than Often Realized: The Cases Of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California

Anyone who follows American politics historically and contemporarily often seems unaware of the complexity of state politics around the nation.

We hear discussion of “Blue” states and “Red” states, but state politics is much more complicated that that.

Gerrymandering often distorts the reality of political loyalties in many states, and also the reality of about one third of voters being “Independent”, rather than loyal to Democrats or Republicans.

There are many examples of this across the nation, particularly noticeable in larger, more populated states.

Just a few examples:

New York State is often thought to be strongly Democratic, but not true in the state legislature, and New York City is vastly different in political culture from upstate New York areas, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Even Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, often reflect different views than the five boroughs of New York City, and within New York City, Staten Island, is vastly different from Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, with Queens County more balanced than the other boroughs in the city.

Pennsylvania is a state where gerrymandering has given the Republicans until now a great advantage, but new court ordered mandates may change that balance in Congress and the state legislature. Philadelphia has a very different political orientation than western Pennsylvania, often called “Alabama” outside of the city of Pittsburgh.

Virginia is well known to have a very liberal Democratic northern section (often called NoVa), reflecting the influence of being the Washington DC suburbs, while much of the rest of the state is reliably conservative and Republican.

Florida is strongly Democratic in the southern counties, particularly Broward and Palm Beach Counties, with somewhat less so in Miami Dade County due to the influence of Cuban Americans, but even that is diminishing, since it is now 60 years since the rise of Fidel Castro, and those directly affected negatively by Castro, are mostly no longer part of the population in Miami. At the same time, Central Florida is the real battleground in the state, the area that decides most elections. North Florida is much like Alabama or Georgia, its neighbors.

Ohio is strongly Democratic in the northern and central sections, particularly in Cleveland and Toledo, and the capital of Columbus, but in the more rural parts and in southern Ohio, near Kentucky, including Cincinnati, it is strongly Republican.

Illinois is dominated by Chicago in the northern part, but down state Illinois is much more Republican in orientation.

Michigan has Detroit as strongly Democratic but in western and northern Michigan, it is much more rural and Republican.

Texas has Democratic strongholds in the state capitol, Austin, and in Houston, while other portions of this very large state, including the rural areas, are strongly Republican.

California has Democratic strongholds in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Central Valley, San Diego, and cities like Bakersfield, where House Majority Leader and possible next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy resides, are strongly Republican.

The next race for the Speaker of the House could be between two Californians of totally different mentalities–Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

A basic reality is that urban areas are always much more likely to be Democratic while rural areas are certain to be more Republican.

Suburban areas are what often decides the politics of a state and in Congress and the Presidential election, as they are the balancing force that determines a state vote, and recently it seems clear the suburban areas, often Republican, are starting to move away from that long time loyalty.

Marist Public Opinion Poll: 83 Percent Democrats, 76 Percent Independent, 57 Percent Republican–Let Mueller Investigation Move Forward

At a dangerous moment in the probe of Donald Trump by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as Trump unravels more than ever before, and has fired so many people on his staff, greater than any President after one year in office, a Marist poll demonstrates that the American people want the Mueller investigation to move forward to completion.

It is now ten months since Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate the firing of FBI Head James Comey, and it is clear that evidence has been gathered leading to convictions and indictments already, that show widespread corruption in the Trump Presidency.

Republicans in Congress have been unwilling to pass legislation to insure that the investigation will move forward, believing Donald Trump will not fire Mueller, but the feeling is that any day, that could happen.

Based on the Marist Poll–83 percent Democrats, 76 percent Independent, 57 percent Republican–it seems as if there would be a storm fire if Trump went ahead and fired Mueller, similar to what happened when Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox in 1973. One would think there would be a movement, even by many Republicans, towards impeachment.

The problem is that even impeachment support by Republicans would take time, and an unhinged Donald Trump, with a crazy National Security Adviser, John Bolton, advocating “regime change” on North Korea and Iran, could take us into one or two massive wars that could cause tremendous loss of life, and possible nuclear war. Also, the “tariff wars” Trump is promoting could cause a world wide Great Depression or Great Recession at the least.

So public opinion is on the side of backing Mueller over Trump, but no matter how one looks at it, America and the world at large is in the midst of a constitutional crisis, which seems much more severe than Richard Nixon and Watergate 45 years ago!

17 Democratic Senators Have Learned Nothing From Great Recession, And Are To Be Condemned For Joining Republicans To Cut Back Banking Reforms

In 2008-2009, we saw the collapse of the American economy, with the biggest banks and Wall Street firms guilty of causing it.

None of those banks or Wall Street firms paid a price for their illegal, unethical activities, which destroyed the economy in a manner unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Under Barack Obama, the Dodd-Frank Law was passed to insure accountability of banks and Wall Street, so that what happened a decade ago would never happen again.

But now, under a Republican Congress, the action to destroy the Dodd_Frank Law is occurring, and has been assisted by 17 Democratic Senators, and only with at least 10 of them, could such action to eliminate Dodd-Frank have moved forward.

It is shocking to see 17 of the 49 Democrats and Independents in the Senate become turncoats who effectively joined in this evil act, and all 17 need to be called out and denounced.

The problem is too many politicians gain campaign contributions from the big banks and Wall Street, so it compromises their ability to represent their states in a proper manner.

The problem is that if these Democrats are repudiated, it would only aid Republicans in possibly gaining their seats, so the issue is that it is preferable to have Democrats who will support the party on many issues, even if not on this issue.

Liberals and progressives will argue that they should be “primaried”, but the reality is that would only help promote more Republican senators, so we are in an area that could be described as “between the devil and the deep blue sea”!

But we must at least list these 17 Senators, so we are all aware of their “treason”:

Michael Bennet of Colorado
Tom Carper of Delaware
Chris Coons of Delaware
Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Doug Jones of Alabama
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Angus King of Maine (Independent)
Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Bill Nelson of Florida
Gary Peters of Michigan
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
Jon Tester of Montana
Mark Warner of Virginia

Ten of these 17 Senators face an election in 2018—Carper, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Kaine, King, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson, Stabenow, and Tester.

Of these 10, only Carper, Kaine and King are in states that went to the Democrats. The other seven were Republican states, and makes the task of keeping their seats ever more difficult.

Of the 17 Senators, only 8 of them, those from Colorado, Delaware (2), New Hampshire (2), Virginia (2), and Maine came from states carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So, sadly, we do not have the privilege and ability to call for the defeat of the ten who are running this year, but even true of the seven who are not running, as they are still better than Republicans to hold the seats.

Otherwise, the Democrats will lose all chance of ever gaining a majority, if they stick to an extreme progressive view of who is acceptable as a Democratic member of the US Senate.

However, one point should be made clear, that none of this list above should ever be considered seriously for President, with the reality that only the two Virginia Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are even talked about at all as potential nominees.

Tim Kaine may have run for Vice President with Hillary Clinton in 2016, but his support of repeal of the Dodd Frank Law should disqualify him and Warner for future Presidential consideration.

2018 Presidents And Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey Of 170 Political Scientists: First Experts Assessment Of Donald Trump

The American Political Science Association conducted a survey from late December 2017 to mid January 2018 of social science experts in presidential politics, the first such survey to assess all of the 44 men who have held the office of the Presidency, including Donald Trump after one year in office.

Last year, C Span had its third survey of Presidential experts, mostly historians but some political scientists and journalists, rating the Presidents, as Barack Obama left office.

So this is a significant moment, as now Donald Trump is part of the equation. The score rating is, theoretically from 100 high to a Zero low.

Abraham Lincoln had 95.03 rating of this group of scholars, and Donald Trump ended up number 44 out of 44, with a score of 12.34, nearly three points lower than James Buchanan with 15.09 score, with the pre Civil War President finally getting out of the basement as the lowest ranked President.

Even William Henry Harrison, the one month President in 1841, who accomplished nothing but his inaugural address and selection of his cabinet, ended up 42nd with a score of 19.02, demonstrating just how disastrous this group of political scientists sees Donald Trump after one year.

Democrats and Liberals and Moderates rated him 44th, the bottom, while Independents ranked Trump 43rd, ahead of only Buchanan. But even Republicans and Conservatives only rated him 40th out of 44, only ahead of Buchanan, Harrison, Pierce, and Andrew Johnson for Republicans, and only ahead of Buchanan, Harrison, Andrew Johnson and Pierce for Conservatives.

In percentage, Democrats gave Trump a 7.60 rating; Liberals a 7.92 rating; Moderates a 13.43 rating; Independents a 16.49 rating; Republicans a 24.53 rating; and Conservatives a 25.19 rating.

Trump topped the list as the most polarizing President, mentioned 138 times. The closest to him was Andrew Jackson, mentioned 81 times; George W. Bush with 74 mentions; and Barack Obama 72 times. Richard Nixon was fifth, with 55 mentions and tied with Abraham Lincoln, followed by Andrew Johnson with 37 mentions, Ronald Reagan with 33 mentions, Bill Clinton with 30 mentions, and Franklin D. Roosevelt with 29 mentions, to round out the top ten.

Five questions were asked about Trump: his Presidency overall; Legislative Accomplishments; Foreign Policy Leadership; Embodying Institutional Norms; and Communicating with the Public.

Trump earned three Fs and 2 Ds, with his best score on Communicating with the Public and lowest on Embodying Institutional Norms.

The only area in any group where Trump gained a C was in Foreign Policy Leadership, and also in Communicating with the Public, both from Republicans.

So Donald Trump, in the view of scholars and experts on the Presidency, is a true disaster, and to think he will get out of the basement and pass the four Presidents above him, is truly delusional!

Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

In the midst of constant rehashing of the 2016 Presidential Election results, one point is being lost by political observers.

The nation is changing demographically very rapidly.

What happened in Virginia on Election Day this year is a sign of the future. Suburbanites, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and Independents swung over massively to the Democratic Party.

Those trends are not temporary, but permanent, as the older generation, which tends to be more conservative, dies off over the next decade, and the percentage of more educated people grows, and as the percentages of Latinos and Asian Americans start to change Sun Belt states.

So the near future is clearly that the states of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina will turn Blue, while the Rust Belt Mid West, not as populated with the groups that helped to make Virginia as Blue a state as it is (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) may go back and forth from Red to Blue, but in the Electoral College, the Rust Belt Mid West will matter much less than it did in 2016, assisting the victory of Donald Trump.

So one can say with a great amount of assurance that by 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will have the electoral advantage in the Electoral College, and are unlikely to lose it, as the Republican Party continues to alienate even their base of less educated and rural voters, and as the Sun Belt turns Democratic long term.

Of course, as part of this transition, the Democratic Party needs to move to the Left, be more progressive and liberal,and not come across as a moderate alternative to the Democratic Party, as that is the future of the party, to act more like it is the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson. This is what the groups which helped the Virginia victory desire for the future.

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!

The Nightmare Year Of Donald Trump, But Suburbia, Women, Minorities, White Collar Educated, Those Under 45, And Independents Are Organizing To End The Trump Presidency

A year ago on this date, Donald Trump “won” the Presidency, with 26 percent of all eligible voters backing him, 46 percent of actual voters, and losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and having 8 million others voting for third party candidates, therefore having 11 million more people voting against him than for him.

No President who has won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote has done so poorly, as compared to John Quincy Adams losing to Andrew Jackson by 38,000 votes in 1824; as Rutherford B. Hayes losing to Samuel Tilden by 252,000 votes in 1876; as Benjamin Harrison losing to Grover Cleveland by 110,000 votes in 1888; or George W. Bush losing to Al Gore by 544,000 votes in 2000.

Also, Trump’s Electoral College victory with 304 electoral votes is only 46th of 58 national elections.

The past year, since his victory, has been a horror in so many ways, as Donald Trump has accomplished nothing in legislation, but has undermined a century of progress under Republican and Democratic Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama in domestic and foreign policy.

He has abused his executive authority to declare war on the environment, promoted discrimination against immigrants and Muslims, advocated the end of government regulation of business, undermining on civil liberties and civil rights, disarray in our foreign relations with our allies and our enemies in the world, destroyed the concept of civility and common decency, and damaged the image of the Presidency itself.

But he has also demonstrated a level of scandal and corruption far greater than the corruption which took place under Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

His appointees, with a few exceptions, have been a total disgrace, making them the worst cabinet in performance and ethics we have ever seen.

Assuredly, Donald Trump will be the second President, after Richard Nixon, to be forced out office in the next year by the Mueller investigation of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The reaction against him among intelligent voters is already evident from Tuesday’s off year elections, as suburbia, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and independents are organizing to end the Trump Presidency and punish the Republican Party that nominated him, have collaborated with him, and are conspiring to enrich the wealthy yet once again, as they did under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. In so doing, the Republican Party has declared war on the middle class, and shown no compassion for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and senior citizens.

A major wave election in 2018 is in the offing, as the goal is to destroy the cancer of the Trump Presidency, although some of the damage he and his party have done will take decades to eliminate totally from the nation’s domestic and foreign policy.

This is a major national tragedy, a setback that the nation will pay for long term.

56 Percent In Quinnipiac Poll Say Trump Not Fit To Be President, But Republicans In Poll Are Totally Delusional And Clueless

Donald Trump is coming apart at the seams, and America sees it.

In a new Quinnipiac poll, 56 percent say Trump is unfit to be President, including 57 percent of Independents and 94 percent of Democrats. At the same time, 84 percent of Republicans say he is fit, which makes one wonder what is wrong psychologically with Republicans, who would never have tolerated such incompetence in Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.

63 percent of women said Trump was unfit, while men were evenly divided at 49-49 because of the strong support for Trump among Republican men.

On race relations, Trump had 94 percent of African Americans, 66 percent of Hispanics, and 55 percent among whites against his policies.

Trump remains disapproved in the 60s over all, while low 30s to low 40s is his positive limit.

No President has ever since World War II had such negative numbers at any time, let alone in his first year in office.

With Trump’s disgraceful handling of Puerto Rico relief, it is time for pressure to be brought that he should resign the Presidency in disgrace.

But it seems at this point unlikely that he will follow Harry Truman’s advice: “The buck stops here!”, and take responsibility for the disaster of his brief Presidency.

115th Congress Begins Tomorrow: Joe Biden Could Have A Surprise (We Can Hope)!

Tuesday, January 3, is the opening of the 115th Congress, but Joe Biden is still Vice President for 17 days more, and could have a surprise up his sleeve, which is perfectly constitutional.

What is this potential surprise?

Joe Biden, in league with Democrats in the US Senate, can call for an immediate vote on the languishing Supreme Court appointment of Merrick Garland, made ten months ago, to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of last year.

It is unheard of to deny the Supreme Court a full number of members for an entire year, but this is what the Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did, and it borders on unconstitutionality, for which the Republicans have suffered no consequences.

Joe Biden, after 36 years in the US Senate, and eight as Vice President under Barack Obama, has continued to keep good relationships across the aisle, and was praised profusely recently by Republicans, as well as Democrats, in a near eulogy about his great Senate and public service.

But that does not mean that Joe Biden is, as nice and gracious and cordial and warm as he is, not willing to be a gutter fighter over principles he believes in, and he was vehement at the unfairness of not giving Merrick Garland a Senate hearing at the least, on his unquestioned qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Garland was “railroaded” in Biden’s mind, victimized for no good reason, and Joe feels Garland should not be pushed by the wayside, in his own heart and mind.

So the rumors were around, and then hushed, that Joe Biden might call for a vote of the 66 returning Senators who do not need to be sworn in by him after 12 noon tomorrow.

If he decides to call a vote, the balance of those 66 Senators is 34 Democrats, 2 Independents (Bernie Sanders and Angus King), and 30 Republicans, so on a straight party line vote, Garland would be confirmed 36-30, and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans could do NOTHING about it legally, as it is constitutional to call a vote, and there is no constitutional requirement to have hearings. Many Justices never had hearings, which only became customary and drawn out in the 1980s, when Joe Biden led the fight with Ted Kennedy against Robert Bork, and later in the 1990s and since, when Joe Biden led the fight against Clarence Thomas on the Court.

So the point is that Joe Biden knows now to play “hard ball”, and he just could surprise us tomorrow, which would lead to condemnation by the right wing and Republicans, but who really cares?

The GOP does not worry about being nasty and playing “hard ball”! In fact, they specialize and revel in it, so let them stew in their own juice!

Let us hope that Joe makes news and distinction for one of his last actions as Vice President and Presiding Officer of the US Senate.

Let him become the center of attention, and maybe, just maybe, if he stays in good health, he can break a new barrier in four years, becoming the oldest President of the United States at age 78, making Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan look like youngsters by comparison.

Certainly, Joe Biden, the common man with no fortune, running against the wealthiest and most arrogant man to ever hold the Presidency, Donald Trump, would look very tempting as an alternative in 2020, since so many think he could have won the difference in the vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, had he run, and son Beau Biden had not tragically passed away in 2015.

And there are strong hints that Delaware Senator Tom Carper, with a long distinguished career with six years as State Treasurer, ten years as Congressman, eight years as Governor, and 18 years as US Senator by the end of 2018, may wish to retire, so imagine this!

Joe Biden could run for and win back a Senate seat and add to his 36 years in the Senate, and be a sitting Senator if he decides to run for President again, and if not, he can still serve his nation in the US Senate, and add to his distinguished record of public service!

Why Hillary Clinton Will Win On Election Day: Ten Key Factors

The ten factors that will insure that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency on Tuesday are as follows:

The strong support of the Latino community across America, including all groups, even Cuban Americans in large numbers, who will react to the racism and nativism of Donald Trump.

The strong support of women across America, who refuse to accept the misogyny and sexual aggressiveness of Donald Trump.

The strong support of African Americans, who can see Donald Trump’s racism for what it is, disgraceful.

The strong support of college educated people, who do not wish to put an ignoramus in office, who appeals to bigotry and prejudice.

The strong support of Independents who are horrified by the authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump.

The strong support of Asian Americans, a growing group, who are alarmed by white supremacists who back Donald Trump, and fully remember what happened to Japanese Americans in World War II.

The strong support of those who believe in labor rights, the environment, civil liberties, and preserving the virtues of the New Deal and Great Society.

The strong support of those who wish to preserve the great gains of the Obama Presidency, and promote his legacy.

The strong support of Millennials, who are oriented in great percentages toward progressive goals.

The strong support of principled conservatives and Republicans who are terrified at the thought of a demagogue named Donald Trump doing great harm to American democracy.

Donald Trump is, without question, the most dangerous major party Presidential nominee in American history–ill informed, terrible judgment, bad temperament, a believer in conspiracy theories, crooked and corrupt, immoral and unethical, reckless and authoritarian, who represents the worst elements in American society!