Iowa

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

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.

Strong Likelihood That Three Republican Women Senators Will Block Repeal Of ObamaCare!

The Republican Party is fast learning of vast and vehement opposition by their constituents to the repeal of ObamaCare and the decimation of Hedicaid.

Ordinary citizens are organizing in a manner that stands out as undermining any attempt of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other GOP leaders to destroy all of the good that has been done on health care under Barack Obama.

Americans, overwhelmingly, want Preexisting Conditions to remain being covered, and for no lifetime cap on benefits to be continued, as it benefits the millions of Americans who are disabled, elderly, sick, and poor.

There may have been doubt about ObamaCare due to racism, but now many of those who said they were opposed, have come to realize that the Affordable Care Act, the official name for ObamaCare, a term devised by obstructionist Republicans, actually has worked very well for 20-30 million Americans, including the expansion of Medicaid.

So it now seems that there is a strong likelihood that three Republican women Senator, none of whom face election to their seats until 2020, will save the day, and prevent repeal of ObamaCare.

These three women Senators are considered moderates, and represent poor states, which also have major Opioid addiction troubles, which would also be mostly thrown to the side by cuts in the health Care plan, as devised by the Republicans.

Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia are leagued in their recognition of the issues of how many of their constituents would be harmed if the repeal of ObamaCare goes through.

Expect all three to prevent action, and possibly some male Republican Senators too, including Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jeff Flake of Arizona and others, but the three women alone will be enough to derail the despicable legislation.

It would also be nice if the two other Republican women Senators—Joni Ernst of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska–two other poor states in the Great Plains-Midwest region, were to do the right thing, and if that happened, we would have all 21 women Senators, the 5 Republicans and 16 Democrats united together on a cause worth being unified around.

But that is unlikely to happen, but Collins, Murkowski, and Capito are likely to kill the bill without any help from any other Republican Senators, and if so, they will be applauded for their courage, ethics, and compassion for their constituents!

National Archives Office Of Presidential Libraries Excellent Site For All Presidential Museums From Herbert Hoover To Barack Obama

At a time when this blogger and author is adding to his list of Presidential Libraries and Museums that he has visited in person, this is a good time to make clear to my readers that an excellent site to explore, which is listed on the right side of my blog, is the National Archives Office of Presidential Libraries, which includes information on the libraries and museums of all President since Herbert Hoover through to Barack Obama, so a total of 14 such institutions.

The Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum is being planned to open in 2021 in Chicago, and it will add to the long list of reasons for tourists, as well as scholars, to visit Chicago.

This author has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit the libraries of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, so a total of 10 of the 13 museums that are open.

The problem with the Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George H. W. Bush Libraries and Museums are their relative inaccessibility, particularly the case of the first two Presidents having their museums in Iowa and Kansas, quite far from major aviation hubs.

But hopefully, at some point, there will be an opportunity to visit the Houston, Texas metropolitan area, and travel the distance to the first Bush Library in College Station, Texas, at the campus of Texas A & M University.

Final Projections On Electoral College And Presidential Election Of 2016

Ok, the time has arrived for my final projection on the Presidential election of 2016.

I project that all Barack Obama states will go to Hillary Clinton, except for Iowa–25 of 26 states in 2012–18 “Blue” states plus DC, and 7 “swing” or “purple” states. Iowa would be the only “swing” or “purple” state that would go “Red”.

At the same time, two “Red” or Romney states–North Carolina and Arizona–would swing to the Democrats.

The math means 6 votes are subtracted from Iowa for Clinton, while 26 electoral votes are added to Clinton’s side, with 15 electoral votes from North Carolina and 11 electoral votes from Arizona.

So instead of 332 electoral votes for Obama, the final total for Clinton will be 352, against 186 for Donald Trump as compared to 206 for Romney.

Hillary Clinton would have 27 states to 23 for Trump, as compared to 24 for Romney, so gain of one state for the Democrats.

We shall see how accurate I am in this third round of Presidential Projections after 2008 and 2012.

A more detailed article has been published on History News Network yesterday, and is now posted on this blog as well, on the right hand side!

“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.

Tim Kaine Proves He Is Excellent Vice Presidential Choice, As Much As Walter Mondale, Al Gore, And Joe Biden!

Tim Kaine proved how great a choice he was for Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, in his debate last night with Mike Pence.

Pence was pitiful in his inability to defend Donald Trump’s words and actions, and his refusal to release his tax returns. Kaine clearly won the debate with his arguments, his aggressiveness, and his personality, while Pence was a “sleepy” and “low energy” opponent.

And yet, the Republicans are claiming they “won” the debate, and in fact, did, according to a CNN poll by 48 to 42, which is seen as simply the fact that Pence was more stable in his performance than Trump was in the first Presidential debate.

But many observers are saying Pence did more to help himself in a future potential Presidential bid in 2020, than he was able to improve Donald Trump”s public image.

It is clear that Hillary Clinton won the first Presidential debate, and her lead has surged to five to six points in most polls in “swing” states, with only Iowa and Ohio among “swing” states as outliers at the moment.

Tim Kaine is in the tradition of previous Democratic Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden!

Potential To Add Seven Democratic Women Senators In November Races

The potential exists to add seven Democratic women to the US Senate, and replace one Democratic woman with another Democratic woman this November.

Senator Barbara Boxer of California is retiring, and Kamala Harris is running to replace her, although her opponent, also a Democrat, is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. So no matter what happens, a Democratic woman in the Senate from California is being replaced by a woman from the Democratic Party.

Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire, is trying to defeat another woman, Republican Kelly Ayotte, for her Senate seat, and has a good chance of winning

Also, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is running to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but is in a tough race, that may be the only Democratic seat in danger, against Republican nominee Joe Heck.

Tammy Duckworth is running for the Illinois Senate seat held by Republican Mark Kirk, and is favored to win.

Katie McGinty is running in Pennsylvania against Republican Pat Toomey, a race seen as very close.

Deborah Ross is running in North Carolina against Republican Richard Burr, another close race.

Ann Kirkpatrick is in a very competitive race in Arizona against well known Republican Senator John McCain.

Finally, Patty Judge is running in Iowa to replace Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a tough fight.

There are 20 women in the US Senate now, 14 Democrats and 6 Republicans. One woman, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, will be replaced by a man, Chris Van Hollen. And Kelly Ayotte could be the one Republican woman who leaves the Senate if she loses to Maggie Hassan.

So the end result could be 5 Republican women and a grand total of 20 Democrats if all the women listed above were to win.

That is certainly unlikely to happen, but if it did, we would have the highest number of women Senators in any Congress in American history—25!

Odds Are Heavy That Democrats Will Regain Senate Majority In November: Crucial For Future Of Supreme Court

With Hillary Clinton running strongly, it seems likely that the Democrats will regain control of the US Senate in this fall’s elections.

The Republicans must defend 24 seats to the Democrats total of 10 seats.

They seem certain to win New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin at the least, and only have one seat in Nevada in danger of being lost to the Republicans.

The Democrats have a good chance also in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and Arizona.

Of course they will not win all of these seats, but if they gain five and do not lose Nevada, they have 51 members of their caucus, and if they win 4, with Tim Kaine as Vice President, they will gain the majority.

However, having more members is crucial to help promote the future of the Supreme Court, which is likely to have several new members over the next few years.

Right now, many Republicans are running ahead of Donald Trump, so it may be that the Democrats will have trouble gaining more than a minimum majority, but the situation is very fluid, and no clear cut prediction as to the makeup of the Senate next year is possible yet, with 75 days to go until the election.

After So Much Vice Presidential Speculation, New Names Show Up!

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are busy keeping us guessing as to who will be their Vice Presidential choices.

After so much speculation, it turns out, according to latest hints, that others not originally considered likely choices, are surging ahead.

So for the Republicans, Indiana Governor and former Congressman Mike Pence seems like the front runner, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions also becoming part of the discussion.

And for the Democrats, suddenly, Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack seems like a possible choice, with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland and Virginia Senator, former Governor, and former Mayor of Richmond Tim Kaine as other possible choices.

Compared to bigger names, such as Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie on the Republican side, or Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro on the Democratic side, these potential choices seem less exciting and dramatic, but that does not mean that there is not an argument for them.

Pence is less controversial than other VP choices for the Republicans, although he signed a bill against the civil rights of gays and lesbians in public accommodations that had to be changed under protest, and with many businesses canceling plans to expand into Indiana, and with him concerned about a gubernatorial race that looks very difficult to win. He is a hard right wing conservative Republican who the Christian right loves, which makes him unable to expand the base of the Republican Party. But Pence does not have a big mouth, and is not considered a bully, as Gingrich and Christie are.

Sessions is the typical Southern conservative very similar to past Southern Democrats up to the 1960s, very hard line on immigration, but the first US Senator to endorse Trump. He is not appealing personally as Pence is.

Tom Vilsack was actually considered on the short list for VP for John Kerry in 2004 and for Hillary Clinton, had she won the nomination of the Democrats in 2008, and is a pleasant enough fellow, and is from a “swing” state.

Tom Perez is Hispanic, Dominican heritage, and also very well liked by Hillary Clinton, and a very effective Secretary of Labor for Barack Obama.

Both Vilsack and Perez as cabinet members do not endanger any Senate seats, which is a plus for both of them.

Kaine was on the short list for VP in 2008, and is well liked, and has been Mayor of Richmond, as well as Governor and Senator, and also Democratic National Chairman, and also well liked by Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, with a Democratic governor in Virginia, an appointment to replace him would be a Democrat. And to top it off, Kaine speaks perfect Spanish, as this blogger has seen on the news reports, a very impressive plus, considering that 55 million Americans, out of 320 million speak or are od Spanish origin.

Trying to guess the ultimate choices for Vice President has become more complex and difficult, so we shall have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to witness what transpires!