James Inhofe

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.

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.

Theodore Roosevelt And Gifford Pinchot Turning Over In Their Graves At Republican Party War On National Parks And Other Environmental Concerns!

The Republican Party a century ago had leaders who cared about the environment, and promoted conservation as a basic national policy.

Governor and later Senator Robert LaFollette, Sr. of Wisconsin; Senator George Norris of Nebraska; US Forestry Service Director and later Governor of Pennsylvania Gifford Pinchot; and President Theodore Roosevelt, all of them progressive Republicans in domestic affairs, made the promotion of national and state parks and monuments a priority. They set a standard for Democrats who followed their lead, including Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama, who just announced three new national park designations in California, Nevada, and Texas. Obama has added 260 million acres and 19 national monuments in office, making him one of the great leaders on that endeavor. We should also mention Republican President Richard Nixon, who despite many faults and shortcomings, did enough to be rated number two among Presidents on the environment, by a conservation group.

Additionally, we were fortunate to have such outstanding Secretaries of the Interior as Harold Ickes under FDR; Stewart Udall under JFK and LBJ; Walter Hickel under Nixon; Cecil Andrus under Carter; and Bruce Babbitt under Clinton to emphasize the importance of the environment in all of its manifestations.

But the Republican Party of present times is anti conservation, anti environment, fights the concept of global warming and climate change, and has allowed itself to come under the influences of wealthy energy interests that would love to mine uranium in the Grand Canyon; destroy native American and paleontological sites; and conduct fracking for natural gas, despite the vast dangers to health and safety, including water pollution and greatly increased earthquake activity, as in Oklahoma, for instance. The Koch Brothers have had a particularly deleterious effect on the issue of the environment. And Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is the worst possible enemy of the environmental movement in Congress, and is head, by seniority, of the Senate committee that deals with the subject.

The failure to see the importance of preserving our natural treasures is mind boggling, and those groups involved in promoting the environment know they have a massive challenge to keep what was given to us, and until the 20th century, was being gutted by rapacious capitalists in the oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and lumber industries who only saw, and still see, only the almighty profit motive, including lack of concern for danger to wildlife!

Climate Change Seen As Essential Issue By Military, Intelligence, And Security! So Climate Change Deniers Must Be Confronted And Defeated!

There is more growing evidence of a dangerous trend on climate change, with 14 of the last 15 years the warmest on record; with the melting of the icebergs in the Arctic; and the growing flooding issue affecting the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Additionally, there are tons of evidence of climate change worldwide in all kinds of ways.

And yet the climate change deniers, led by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and others in Congress, claim that there is absolutely no evidence, and that nothing needs to be done.

President Barack Obama has attempted to draw attention to this crucial issue, with little success.

And yet, we have military leaders; we have those in the intelligence community; and we have those involved in our national security apparatus, who are only too aware of the realities and challenges of climate change, with the naval base in Virginia, Norfolk Naval Station, one clear example of many of the future dangers to our national security.

So these communities—military, intelligence, security—must continue to lead the fight as this “ostrich in the sand” mentality will undermine the future of America, if we continue to allow these deniers the power and influence that they possess!

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

The 114th Congress Anti Science Climate Denier Caucus: An Unmitigated Disaster!

The Republican 114th Congress is, sadly, one of a majority of anti science climate deniers, at a shocking level.

Twelve states have a majority of their Congressional delegation, sometimes including some Democrats, who are anti science, anti evolution and anti climate change. These states include West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Alaska.

All states have at least 25 percent anti science climate deniers, except the following: Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, Oregon, and Hawaii.

This is a terrible omen for the future, as putting our heads in the sand on climate change will insure a worse life for our children and grandchildren.

But that does not phase Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and others who deny, deny, deny to the point where one wants to scream, based on the available evidence.

And Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe is the most vehement climate change denier, and cannot be reasoned with at all!

But President Barack Obama is doing what he can, including rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline!

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!

Climate Change And Republican Influence On Congressional Committees: James Inhofe And Louie Gohmert!

The battle for the control of both houses of Congress in 2014 is more than just an issue of which party, and which politicians, win.

It is a battle for the future of the reaction to climate change as well!

In the US Senate, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, heads the Republican minority on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and has been the biggest denier of climate change, ridiculing former Vice President Al Gore and others, who have warned of the dangers of global warming and climate change. Were the Republicans to win the majority of the Senate, his influence would grow, just as he becomes age 80 by the end of the year. Do we really want a scenario where a man who has a short life span, based on his age, determines our future on climate change?

In the House of Representatives, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, a Tea Party member, and considered one of the most moronic members of the Republican Party, on the level of Steve King of Iowa and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, is third in seniority on the Natural Resources Committee, but due to retirement of the chair of the committee, is due to take over as Chair IF the GOP wins the majority of the House again, which is seen as likely.

Imagine these two climate deniers, both infuriating in so many ways, standing in the way of dealing with our environmental problems?

This is one of the most important issues to consider when analyzing the upcoming midterm elections, as it represents an “ostrich with its head in the sand,” refusing to deal with reality, in a way that can harm America and the world long term!

The Tea Party Attack On Chris Christie: Wonderful News For Democrats!

The right wing Tea Party attacks on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, making clear that his victory means nothing for the Presidential campaign of 2016, is great news for Democrats, as it indicates that the Republican Party is insuring its own defeat by attacking moderate conservatives such as Chris Christie, along with Jeb Bush and Jon Huntsman.

We have seen Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and James Inhofe taking negative stands on Christie’s victory, and if any of the first five are the GOP nominee in 2016, it will make for an easy landslide victory for Hillary Clinton, or any other Democratic nominee for the White House!

And the bitter attacks of right wing Talk Show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others only adds to the destruction of the GOP brand!

If the GOP cannot appeal to African Americans, Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians, young voters, and labor, it has absolutely no possibility of regaining the White House or control of the Senate anytime soon, and the House of Representatives is also put into play.

The rhetoric will fly fast and furious as the GOP self destructs before our eyes, and it will be a display that makes the 2012 Republican brand look more rational by comparison, although it most certainly was not that at all!

Republican Suicide As Result of Government Shutdown And Debt Ceiling: Long Term Damage!

The Republican Party has seen 144 members of the House of Representatives and 18 in the US Senate voting for default on the national debt!

The Republican Party has seen itself held accountable for an increase in government spending caused by the shutdown of the government, to the tune of $24 billion, instead of having 800,000 civil servants working for 16 days, but now getting back pay rightfully for their forced period out of work!

The Republican Party has shown it does not give a damn for the economic and emotional turmoil it caused millions of Americans by their reckless, selfish, delusional behavior!

The Republican Party has shown it has no limits in its determination to destroy this President, but it has failed miserably!

The Republican Party allowed itself to be hijacked by Ted Cruz and the Tea Party Movement, and it has lost all respectability and credibility to achieve control of the White House, the Senate, and at some point, the House of Representatives, as they have shown themselves to be no longer representative of a broad coalition needed to be taken seriously as a national party based on coalition and compromise!

Public opinion polls show the GOP in crisis mode, with the lowest ratings in recorded history for a major political party since polls began in the mid 1930s!

The only hope for a revival of the Republican Party is to:

Repudiate Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Inhofe, Marco Rubio and other Tea Party Senators.

Repudiate the Tea Party Movement in the House of Representatives.

Repudiate the talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel.

Repudiate the Heritage Foundation and other right wing think tanks, and come back to the moderate center which led to the elections of Eisenhower, Nixon, the Bushes, and yes, even Ronald Reagan, who would be mortified as to how right wing extremist the GOP has allowed itself to become.

But will the Republican Party take any or all of these actions? Do not hold your breath on this!