John McCain

The Dangers Of The Supreme Court Run Amuck In Favor Of Wealthy And Corporations!

The Supreme Court is totally out of control, with its new decision on having no limits on campaign spending by wealthy donors, added on to the Citizens United Case of 2010, and the limitation of voting rights in a 2013 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified a five member GOP majority to destroy all attempts to prevent corporate and wealthy people from controlling the political system, an effort pursued from the time of Theodore Roosevelt a century ago through Senator John McCain and Senator Russ Feingold in the 1990s and early 2000s.

That is all for naught now, and shows the dangers of a runaway, reckless, right wing radical Court!

This is what made Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama criticize Court power, along with progressive reformers including Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Senator George Norris of Nebraska, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

This is the result of 13 Supreme Court nominees since 1960 by Republican Presidents, to only 8 by Democrats, and with two of those Democratic appointments (Arthur Goldberg by John F. Kennedy and Abe Fortas by Lyndon B. Johnson), only lasting three and four years respectively.

Of course, Republican appointments of Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush, turned out to be major surprises in their rulings, but we also ended up with some of the most reactionary and right wing radical appointments in all of American history with the appointments of William Rehnquist by Richard Nixon and the elevation of Rehnquist to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan; Lewis Powell by Richard Nixon; Antonin Scalia by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito by George W. Bush. The appointments of Chief Justice Warren Burger by Richard Nixon; Anthony Kennedy by Ronald Reagan; and Chief Justice John Roberts by George W. Bush, have been more of a mixed bag, sometimes good, and sometimes horrible in its effect on constitutional law!

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy selected a mostly conservative Justice Byron White; Lyndon B Johnson selected Thurgood Marshall; Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, but sadly, their influence in the last four of the five names listed, has been mostly in being the opposition, sometimes vehement in nature!

The effect on the future of American democracy is massive, with this right wing Court majority, and the only hope is the eventual retirement of Scalia and Kennedy, and hopefully, continuation of a Democratic Senate and President for the rest of the decade, so that the Court changes direction in the future!

The Coming GOP Battle Between Ted Cruz And Rand Paul: Neither Good For The Republican Party!

It is now clear, after the CPAC convention, that the battle for the soul of the Republican Party is, most likely, to be between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Cruz represents the aggressive, in your face, bombastic image of the Tea Party, while Paul represents the libertarian, isolationist view of the same Tea Party.

Both hate the national government, and both want to cut domestic social spending, and have no desire to deal with the problems of the working class and the poor.

Both want to undermine the GOP establishment, and work against the idea of working with President Obama, and accepting that part of politics is negotiation and compromise.

Both men have very little ability to win a national election, as both are seen as extreme, and unable to take “Blue” states away from the Democrats.

Both appeal to those who want to put America back in the age of laissez faire of the Gilded Age, and want to assist the one percent who have become more wealthy and powerful at the expense of the middle class.

Cruz has a demagogic manner about him, reminding many of Joseph McCarthy in appearance and style, but he is seen as dangerous because despite his egotism, he is clearly very smart. However, he is willing to throw other Republicans “under the bus”, with his working against fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, and also resisting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as attacking past Republican Presidential nominees Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. Cruz has no ethics when it comes to pursuing his own ambitions, and he is extremely vain and arrogant. Imagining him dealing with foreign leaders is an absolute horror!

Paul, on the other hand, supports the idea that businesses should be able to reject customers based on race, being critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He is a libertarian like his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and believes that philosophy is realistic in the 21st century. He would love to cut defense spending enough so that we would withdraw from many of our bases around the world , an appealing idea, but not a realistic one. He comes across as more a visionary than Cruz, more pleasant than Cruz, willing to give respect to the elder statesmen of the party, and work with Establishment Republicans in the Senate, while disagreeing with them. He seems, overall, not as bright and ambitious as Cruz is.

Both are horrible choices for President, and both would lose, but the feeling is that Cruz is more of a threat, although the belief is that he would crash and burn, once the election campaign was in full swing. It seems likely that Paul would do better in electoral votes, and would be more liked personally, but still could not win a national election.

The ultimate question is why the Republican Party seems incapable of finding a truly great Presidential candidate, although in the long run, that does not matter as the Electoral College math dooms them in 2016, as long as they continue to alienate many major voting groups.

So the decline of the GOP, by a massive electoral defeat in 2016, seems more likely as the clock ticks toward the election year!

John McCain, Lindsey Graham, And NEOCON Hawks: Total Lunatics!

Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seem ready to have America involved in another major war in Ukraine, as if we do not have enough loss of treasure and life in Iraq and Afghanistan already!

Thank goodness that McCain was not elected President in 2008, and with moron Sarah Palin by his side, a heartbeat away, as we would have been engaged with troops on the ground in Libya, Syria, and Iran, along with staying in Iraq and Afghanistan, under a man who thinks war solves issues, and that America has no limits on military spending!

Lindsey Graham is always at McCain’s side, ready to bomb and attack, while very willing to cut spending for the poor and the elderly, and it makes one wonder how he sleeps at night!

But this is the Neocons at work, destroying our budget and our unity, in their mad dash to impose America’s will, as if this is the Cold War all over again!

The fact is that they refuse to understand that Crimea is to Russia what Mexico is to us, a boundary line that we will defend at all costs. If Mexico became unreliable and a threat to America, we would intervene as Vladamir Putin has in Crimea.

It is not an issue of endorsement of Putin and Russia, but rather an issue of Crimea being their “back yard”, and there is no way that Russia will allow an unfriendly Crimea, where a majority are Russian ethnically, to be hostile to Russian interests.

This is nothing new in history, and considering the numerous examples of US intervention since World War II. some of them justified and many NOT justified, who are we to dictate to other nations on the safety of their borders?

So it is a question of reality, not morals and ethics!

Other Than Hillary Clinton, What Woman Could Be A Viable Presidential Nominee In 2016?

Hillary Clinton is considered highly likely to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016, and most think she will, ultimately, decide to run, although there are those who have doubts.

But if Hillary chose not to run, is there any other woman who could be seen as a viable candidate for the White House in 2016?

On the Republican side, really no one is ready and able to mount a serious race, as members of the House of Representatives have never been the nominee of a major political party, other than President James A. Garfield in 1880, and he was, tragically, assassinated in 1881, after serving only a few months in the Presidency.

Yes, there are a few Republicans women governors, but to believe that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley or New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez or Kansas Governor Mary Fallin can be considered serious Presidential candidates is to be delusional.

As far as women Senators in the Republican Party, there are the highly qualified Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but neither seems interested or, really viable, as a Presidential nominee. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte might be interested, but is not seen by many as a heavyweight in the party apparatus, but rather a person who hangs around Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham more than is wise to do.

Of course, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is loved by the Tea Party Movement, but it is laughable to imagine her running, and she has absolutely no chance to win the nomination.

Condoleezza Rice is well qualified, but the former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under George W. Bush, has always turned down any pressure to run for high office!

So, realistically, if there is to be a woman President, and other than Hillary Clinton, it will have to be a Democrat–and realistically it would be a Senator–one of three, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, or Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Warren would be popular with the leftist base in the Democratic Party, but has been in the Senate only one year, and would be 67 in 2016, just two years younger than Hillary Clinton. She inspires many people, including this author, and would fight Wall Street, which few others would.

Gillibrand has been in the Senate since 2010, and is very active and inspiring, but she comes from a state where Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo compete for support, and it is hard to imagine her at age 50 in 2016, being able to mount a campaign for President in 2016. She has made the fight against sexual abuse in the military a major issue, which has been under the radar for much too long.

So that leaves Klobuchar, who has served in the Senate since 2007, and is regarded very highly for her state government experience as Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Attorney for eight years, and can appeal to the heartland of the nation in a way that neither Warren nor Gillibrand could do. Her personality and communication ability is just as good, if not better, than Warren or Gillbrand, and at age 56 in 2016, she is closer to the ideal age to run for President. She is someone with a great progressive record, who has been too often overlooked by news media and others who follow politics.

But one thing is clear: No one is as qualified or outstanding among women politicians as Hillary Rodham Clinton! She has her faults and shortcomings, but no one matches her credentials!

Speaker Boehner: Halt Threat Of Presidential Impeachment NOW!

Speaker John Boehner, we are well aware that you do not agree with the Tea Party whackos in your party, and that you wish to move immigration reform forward, and prevent future crises over raising the debt limit and shutting down the federal government!

We know that you have expressed, recently, your exasperation with these reckless, disobedient, anarchistic elements, but it is now time to put up or shut up, and that means halt IMMEDIATELY ANY talk of impeachment of President Barack Obama!

You know, Mr. Speaker, that Obama is a decent man, who you disagree with on policy, similar to what Senator John McCain said during his 2008 Presidential campaign. But McCain showed guts and courage when he contradicted a moronic woman at a campaign rally, who told him that Obama was a Muslim, not an American, and should not be respected.

It is now time for you to make clear that you will NOT allow any motion for impeachment to move forward, similar to what Speaker Nancy Pelosi made very clear when a small cabal of Democrats called for impeachment of President George W. Bush in 2007. She stated then, that while she disagreed on policy matters, there was no just cause for impeachment, and the idea was immediately dropped!

Speaker Boehner, you know in your heart of hearts, that Obama has done nothing illegal; has not committed high crimes and misdemeanors; and was voted into the Presidency twice by the voters by a clear margin. You should respect that reality, and take impeachment off the table, come hell or high water, in regards to retention of your own Speakership!

No move to impeach Obama will lead to his conviction in any case, so do not besmirch his reputation and his obituary, as sadly, Bill Clinton suffered unjustly in 1998-1999, only harming the Republican Party image and reputation!

And finally, realize that IF Obama, somehow, were to be removed, you and your party would be elevating Vice President Joe Biden into the White House, with less than two years left by the time of the impeachment trial, and that would give Biden the upper hand for the nomination and election in 2016 and 2020, creating the possibility of near to a ten year Biden Presidency, only surpassed by Franklin D. Roosevelt!

Do you really wish to do that, Mr. Speaker, as, after all, Joe Biden would promote the same agenda as Obama, and just might have the ability to get things done that could match Lyndon B. Johnson in domestic affairs?

So, Mr. Speaker, be a profile in courage, and nip the impeachment threat in the bud, as it benefits no one, including your party, and the nation at large!

The Basic Reality Of Leadership: Character And Public Presence Truly Matter!

As an observer of politicians for the past 50 years, this author is absolutely amazed at how many citizens fail to see that the key issue in supporting and voting for any politician is their character and their public presence.

If one comes across in his or her public role as prejudiced, biased, uncaring, lacking in compassion for those less fortunate through no fault of their own, lacking in empathy, overly aggressive, nasty, belligerent, bullyish, inability to smile, unconcerned about how he or she deals with the media and the citizens he represents, obviously only interested in his own aggrandizement, the question is WHY would anyone support such a person for any public office?

Millions upon millions have voted for and support politicians who fit this description, and this author knows some people who do this! It is absolutely mind boggling why they find such politicians appealing! And it makes me wonder, and has done so, whether knowing these people, and associating with them, really is in the best interests of my own conscience and basic principles!

So, for instance, how anyone could have liked and admired Richard Nixon is beyond this author’s understanding, as it was very clear to me as a young teenager and after, that Nixon was not a man to be trusted.

The same goes for such politicians as Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina; Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina; Vice President Spiro Agnew of Maryland; Vice President Dick Cheney of Wyoming; and innumerable other Senators, Congressmen, Governors, cabinet officers, Supreme Court Justices, and other public figures of the past half century, while this author has been aware of what goes on in American government!

This is not saying that because someone is charming and personable and pleasant in public, that he or she cannot be corrupt and despicable, as for instance, Senator John Edwards was, regarding his wife and his cheating on her. He is one of a long list of people who appear to be decent in public, of both political persuasions, who can surprise us with their lies and deception. All of us are able to be fooled by a slick politician, no question about that!

But when one sees people now, running for President or planning to, who are similar to the few cases listed above, one wonders why anyone would support such politicians as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, as a few examples. And how could anyone, in recent times support former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Governor Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, and former Florida Congressman Allen West, among others, who have worked to poison our political system in an extremely detrimental manner?

The head of this author is shaking in disbelief as to the blindness of so many people, who fail to see that these and others are phones, charlatans, and everything else described above!

A final thought I wish to make is that there are politicians who I have not agreed with on issues, but still consider them decent people on the basis of the description I have given above, meaning they do not have the negative characteristics that I outlined earlier. A short list would include Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush, and George W. Bush, along with Senators Bob Dole of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona. So it is not an issue of agreement, per se, but how politicians come across in their character and public presence!

And a final “final” thought, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is getting his “just desserts”, as his obnoxious, bullying character is proving to be truth, as to his not having the opportunity to serve as our President, thank god!

Jeb Bush: Can He Do What Only Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, And Ronald Reagan Did?

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two Presidents, is again having his name bandied about for President of the United States, despite his mother, Barbara Bush, saying there have been enough Bushes in the White House, and that more than three or four families have talent for the Presidency. While saying that repeatedly, she always adds that her son is best qualified to be President, so it is an odd statement, to say the least!

But Speaker of the House John Boehner went out of his way to suggest Jeb Bush would be a great nominee, and certainly, the “Establishment” Republicans on Wall Street see him as more likely now than ever before, as their front line of defense against the Tea Party Movement and Ted Cruz et al, and the libertarians and Rand Paul.

Both Cruz and Paul, and really EVERY other suggested nominee, has all kinds of issues with their extreme right wing tilt. That is why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed so appealing to many, after his wide victory for a second term. But now the scandals that have erupted have besmirched his reputation, and in any case, Christie would have had great trouble winning in Iowa, South Carolina, and other states as he is from the Northeast, and seen as too much like John McCain and Mitt Romney, failed GOP Presidential candidates, who are disliked by right wing talk show hosts, conservative think tanks, and the Tea Party right wingers.

So who is left for the “Establishment”? Really, only former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who also was Ambassador to China, under President Obama, an excellent, and really the best choice, but with not a chance in hell of being able to compete, because he is too “moderate” by comparison, too smart, too intelligent, too interested in science and world affairs, too independent minded, and even not allowing his Mormon faith to dictate public policy views!

Huntsman would have the best chance to win of any Republican, but the party has a death wish, and he will not be the nominee. More likely, it would be one of a large group of horrible candidates, including, not only Cruz and Paul, but also Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and other “nightmarish” candidates!

So the only place to turn for the “Establishment” is to another Bush, who is comparatively a moderate conservative, who has not come across as a “whacko” in office and in his public statements. He has shown tolerance on immigration issues, as with his brother, President George W. Bush, and he seems to have a comparatively open mind.

But his challenge, beyond overcoming the Bush name, after the damage his brother did in eight years in the Presidency, is that Jeb Bush has been out of public office for ten years by 2016, after eight years served as Governor of Florida. While a few military people, including retired ones, have become President, only three non military people have become President with extended periods out of public office.

Abraham Lincoln had 12 years since his one term in the House of Representatives, until his Presidential triumph in 1860.

Richard Nixon had eight years since his defeat for the Presidency in 1960, until his victory in 1968.

Ronald Reagan had six years since his Governorship of California until his victory in 1980.

Note Nixon and Reagan had a shorter number of years, than Jeb Bush has, and Nixon ran for Governor of California in 1962, and Reagan competed for the Presidential nomination in 1976, both two years after they left public office.

And Lincoln, while twelve years since his last time in public office, ran for and lost the Senate race in Illinois against Senator Stephen Douglas in 1858, ten years after his one term in the House of Representatives, and just two years before he won the Presidency.

So Jeb Bush really has no exact comparison to Nixon and Reagan, and comes closest to Lincoln.

The ultimate question is whether Jeb Bush can copy Lincoln, or even Nixon or Reagan. The betting odds on his nomination are less than 50 percent for now, and far less in a race against any Democrat in 2016, particularly Hillary Clinton!

Senator John McCain: Please Be A Profile In Courage And Denounce Sarah Palin Once And For All!

Senator John McCain is an honorable man, who has often showed courage and principle in his life, both when he was in the military, and a prisoner of war, and in his political career.

Senator McCain has been inconsistent at times, but yet comes across, somehow, as basically decent and fair minded, at least most of the time.

It seems impossible to believe that Senator McCain has not had second thoughts on his selection of then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate in 2008.

How can Senator McCain see what a nightmare Sarah Palin has become, and somehow, remain silent for five long years?

Sarah Palin has contributed absolutely nothing to political discourse, other than to prove how stupid and ill informed she really is! She is an embarrassment to herself, her family, her party, and the nation! It seems hard to imagine that, privately, McCain has not held his head in his hands and moaned: “what hath I wrought!”

But Senator McCain has been a gentleman, refusing to comment on anything Sarah Palin has said or done since 2008, but knowing she has been a total disaster in every way!

It is time for Senator McCain, who is nearing the end of his career, to show guts and courage and denounce the behavior of Sarah Palin to the American people!

If he does that, he will go down as admitting a mistake, and contributing to the total demise of this gold seeker, who will say or do anything to convince gullible people to buy her totally inane books, and watch her moronic cable shows, past and future.

Sarah Palin is as much interested in the American people as it will bring her good fortune, nothing more. She has demonstrated, once again, that she is willing to use the race card against President Obama, and in so doing, divide America ever more, and cause more death threats on a constant basis against our President, a reprehensible act. She refuses to realize that she incites lunatics every time she spews forth her poison and invective!

And think about it, what could Sarah Palin say if John McCain denounced her? IF she chose to criticize him, she would seem totally ungrateful, as it is McCain who has allowed her to bamboozle the American people, and to promote hate and division, instead of unity!

More likely, she would ignore what he said, and attempt to move on in her constant quest for money, saying whatever will convince people to buy her books and watch her shows. But a true denunciation would likely lead to her rapid decline, and the media would stop paying attention, something long overdue!

The Barack Obama–Raul Castro Handshake: Much Ado Over Nothing!

While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.

Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.

Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.

Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.

Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.

John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.

Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.

Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.

Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!

When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!

Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.

There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.

Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?

After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!

Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!

It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!

The Ten Senate Republicans Who Supported The Employment NonDiscrimination Act

The Employment NonDiscrimination Act was approved by the US Senate this week by a vote of 64-32, including 54 Democrats and 10 Republicans, who agreed that to allow discrimination against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity was immoral, unethical, simply wrong in America in 2013.

At the same time, 32 Republican Senators continued to show no concern about such discrimination, and in so doing, condemned themselves in history, as much as those opposed to the Civil Rights laws passed over time to ban discrimination against Americans, based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, and disability.

The House of Representatives majority would back such legislation, but it is clear that Speaker of the House John Boehner, personally opposed to the bill, will not call for a vote, because he knows a large percentage of his own party would vote against it, so it will likely languish until the Democrats can win a majority of the House in future years.

The honor roll of those Republicans who showed a conscience and principle include:

John McCain of Arizona
Susan Collins of Maine
Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire
Jeff Flake of Arizona
Rob Portman of Ohio
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Mark Kirk of Illinois
Orrin Hatch of Utah
Dean Heller of Nevada

Notice that not even one Senator from the South supported ENDA. One would have thought that, possibly, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, sometimes open minded on some issues, would have done so, but the power of the Tea Party, religious groups that promote prejudice and hate in the name of their brand of Christianity, and the reality of reelection contests for Alexander and Graham in particular, make that impossible.

After all, being reelected is more important than doing the right thing for the long run of history, right?