Kentucky

Kentucky, The State With The Two Worst Senators, But Appealing To Racism Of White Working Class And Poor, And Remaining In Office

Kentucky is one of the bottom ten states in economic statistics, and its two United States Senators are probably the worst combination of Senators of any state.

Kentucky is a state of many poor whites in Appalachia, with very meager education, if any beyond high school, and resentful of minorities advancing, although they are a smaller percentage than most states. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have exploited the fears of their ignorant, poorly educated white population to stay in power, and do absolutely nothing for their citizenry.

Only Louisville, the home of the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and Lexington, with the University of Kentucky, have any signs of interest in progress beyond the exploitation of fear of the federal government. And yet, if left up to them, McConnell and Paul would cut and destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as mining laws that protect workers.

And Matt Bevin, an extreme right wing conservative, and wealthy businessman in the tradition of Donald Trump, managed to be elected in 2015, and faces reelection this November. Kentucky has only had three Republican governors since World War II, but one can be sure Trump will campaign among gullible poor whites, and stoke fear of minorities and of “socialism”, the programs of the New Deal and Great Society that keep these people above water, although barely.

Kentucky will have its gubernatorial election in November, with Andy Beshear, the son of the previous Governor, Steve Beshear, and presently Attorney General of the state, trying to defeat a governor considered close to the worst in the nation. Let us hope that he succeeds, as his father was considered an outstanding governor.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

The Dozen Most “Trumpian” Members Of Congress: Traitors To Democracy And The Rule Of Law

It is well known by now that the Republican Party as a party in Congress is guilty of cooperating with a President who is moving toward authoritarianism and dictatorship with their support and endorsement, if by nothing else than collaboration and lack of spine to speak up, and even endanger their seats.

But the party cares more about the perks of office, and in enriching the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, working class, and the poor.

They have no compassion, no empathy, no concern about the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, or protection of the Bill of Rights.

They are a party condemned which deserves to be dissolved.

But there are a dozen Republican officeholders for whom any decent American should have contempt, so here is the list by word and action, or lack of action and speaking out, of the dozen most “Trumpian” members of Congress.

It is particularly disturbing that a number of these dozen names are leaders of the party, or strive to be such.

The leaders include: Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, President Pro Tempore of the Senate until January; Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who is leaving the House in January; and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, and potentially still so if the Senate remains Republican in the 116th Congress of 2019-2020.

These three, with the first two being two and three heartbeats away from the Presidency, have been a total disgrace and embarrassment to the high positions they hold.

Then, we have House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who wants to be Speaker of the House to succeed Paul Ryan, and is seen as being the close “buddy” of the President, and was recorded speaking very loud in 2016 about Russian connections of Trump and other Republicans, until Paul Ryan shushed him, but it happened, and Robert Mueller knows it, and that means McCarthy is involved in Russian collusion, and likely Paul Ryan and other Republicans as well.

Also notable is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who despite his libertarian bull, is constantly bowing to Donald Trump, and he, like his wacky father, retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul, is a disgrace and a fraud.

Then, we have the newly minted Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is already openly racist and nativist in his appeal to the voters of the third largest state in population in America.

Also, we have House Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is an extremist who wants to cut all government down to what it was decades ago, a very dangerous person who has promoted government shutdowns numerous times.

Then, we have indicted and now withdrawing from reelection Congressman Chris Collins of New York, who was the first House member to endorse Donald Trump, and now faces prosecution for “insider trading” on the stock market.

Also, we can add Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, now engaged in a scandal about sexual abuse of college wrestlers decades ago when he was an assistant coach, and wanting to compete with Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House if the Republicans keep control of the chamber. He is Vice Chairman of the reprehensible House Freedom Caucus.

The final three are the youngest Senator at present, including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who is very nasty and vicious in his personality; California Congressman Devin Nunes, who has been the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and has engaged in tactics to prevent an investigation of Trump, and to promote more “dirt” and accusations against Hillary Clinton, and is seen as a collaborator on Russian collusion; and California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has been indicted on corruption involving campaign funds being spent for personal use, and who was the second House member to endorse Donald Trump after Chris Collins.

So we have four Senators and eight House members who are truly the “Trump Traitors”, willing to block action and take steps to undermine American democracy and the rule of law for their own selfish ends.

What If Utah Senator Mike Lee Is Nominated For Supreme Court?

Early speculation on who Donald Trump might select to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court centers on Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, an original Tea Party member, having served in the Senate, and promoting libertarian ideas since 2011.

Not always a supporter of Trump, and not backing him in 2016 due to the Access Hollywood tape, Lee would still be a prime choice for Trump.

Lee is only 47 and could be expected to serve on the Court until 2050 and beyond.

He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has to consider the Supreme Court nomination, and there are 11 Republicans to 10 Democrats on that committee.

To believe that any of his GOP colleagues on the committee, or even in the Senate, would vote against their party member, is hard to conceive.

And if all 50 Republicans stay united (minus John McCain, who is not likely to return to Washington DC anytime soon), at the worst, Vice President Mike Pence can vote if need be, but a 50-49 vote is a majority, and likely, a few Democrats, in red states facing election, would cross the aisle and vote for Lee, as they did for Neil Gorsuch a year ago.

Having a Senator on the Supreme Court is not unheard of, as it has happened 15 times in American history.

Most famously, there was Alabama Democratic Senator Hugo Black, who served on the Court for 34 years from 1937 to 1971, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. And President Harry Truman appointed two Senators—Sherman Minton of Indiana, who served from 1949-1956; and Harold Burton of Ohio who served from 1945-1958.

Also, there have been 17 Congressmen who served on the Supreme Court, including Warren G. Harding appointee George Sutherland of Utah who served from 1922-1938; and Chief Justice Fred Vinson of Kentucky, who served from 1946-1953, appointed by President Truman.

Finally, 6 Governors have been appointed to the Supreme Court, the last and most famous being California Governor Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and serving to 1969; along with significant appointments by President Abraham Lincoln of Ohio Governor Salmon P Chase to be Chief Justice, serving from 1864-1873; former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes, first appointed to the Court by William Howard Taft from 1910 to 1916, and then returning to the Court as Chief Justice by appointment of President Herbert Hoover from 1930-1941; and Michigan Governor Frank Murphy, appointed by FDR and serving from 1940-1949.

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.

Mitch McConnell Defies Decency: Merrick Garland, And Now Doug Jones

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is once again engaged in outrageous and despicable behavior.

In 2009, he declared that the Republican Party would do everything to block all legislation and other actions by Barack Obama, so he would be a one term President.

That move failed, but McConnell and his Republican Party did everything possible to block circuit and district court nominations by Obama, and now they are rushing through incompetent appointments by Donald Trump, people who have no or horrible credentials to have lifetime jobs on the circuit and district courts.

McConnell also would not allow Obama’s Supreme Court appointment of Merrick Garland to have a hearing, let alone a vote in 2016, because Obama was in his last year in the White House, even though historically, there have been a number of appointments in the last year of a Presidential term or a Presidency.

So we ended up with right winger Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, who was overruled by the rest of the Supreme Court on a case when he still was a Circuit Court judge.

And now, with Doug Jones having won the Alabama Senate race, and ready to be sworn in, McConnell will not allow that to happen before the vote on the tax legislation which will redistribute the wealth to the wealthy and corporations, at the expense of the middle class, struggling working class, and the poor, elderly, and disabled. So instead, defeated Senator Luther Strange will be able to cast his vote, when he should no longer have that right.

There is a special place in hell for people like Mitch McConnell!

Republican Senators Who Can Stop Tax Legislation, Which Is Fraudulent For The Middle Class Future In America

Once again, a few courageous and principled Republican Senators have an opportunity to stop fraudulent tax legislation, which will dramatically undermine the middle class, and only be a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, including Donald Trump and his family, despite the crooked President’s denials.

A few Republican Senators stood in the way of destroying ObamaCare without any replacement, and this legislation on taxes also is another attempt to destroy ObamaCare without any alternative for millions of Americans.

So one can hope that Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska will stand strong.

But additionally, there is hope that Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Senator Dean Heller Of Nevada may also fight the legislation, with the first two not running for reelection in 2018, so free to be independent, and Heller, the most endangered Republican Senator running in 2018, under great pressure to oppose legislation that will harm most of his constituents.

Also, on different motivations, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin could vote against the legislation.

All that is needed is three Senators, and the tax plan fails, and IF Doug Jones wins the Alabama Senate seat on December 12, then only two Senators on the Republican side are needed to derail the legislation, and cause a massive defeat for Donald Trump, who will have accomplished nothing by legislation in Congress in his first year, making him a total failure in that regard.

The Graham-Cassidy Last Ditch Attempt To Destroy ObamaCare: Proof That Republicans Do Not Care About Americans Having Health Care!

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are trying to ram through a last ditch attempt at destroying ObamaCare, and putting up to 32 million people off of affordable health care.

This proves that Republicans do not care about Americans having health care, and yet they are supposedly Pro-Life, but only until a fetus is born, and after that, if you are poor, tough on you!

Graham is outrageous enough to say that ObamaCare is “Socialism”, which most certainly is NOT so!

It is very similar to RomneyCare in Massachusetts and to the American Enterprise Institute–Bob Dole–Newt Gingrich plan of 1993-94 in opposition to HillaryCare, promoted by First Lady Hillary Clinton.

It keeps the health care system under private insurance companies, so how is it “Socialism”?

But Graham must think that Social Security and Medicare are “Socialism”, but vast majorities of the American people like both programs, but of course, the Republicans would love to destroy both, even though the middle class and the poor benefit from them.

The battle must be continued to keep ObamaCare, but work to IMPROVE it, as all government programs can certainly be improved over time.

It now seems that Senator John McCain of Arizona has come to the rescue once again, as he stated today that he could not, in good conscience, support the bill, even though it is sponsored by his closest friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham. Now that is principle, a rare virtue in the Senate in recent years.

It is also believed that two women, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who joined with McCain a month ago on the earlier rejection of a similar bill, will do so again, and Rand Paul of Kentucky is a definite NO vote this time, but because he feels the bill keeps remnants of ObamaCare, which he wishes to reject completely. So he is NOT a hero, but then he and his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul are both libertarian whackos!

Hard To Believe: The Worst Week Of The Trump Presidency, And Every Week Is Worse Than The One Before!

Hard to believe, but this past week has been the worst week of the Trump Presidency and every week is worse than the one before!

Trump has gone after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the GOP Party Leader this week, alienating Republican Senators, and making for an awkward situation for McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who is Trump’s Secretary of Transportation.

He has ratcheted up the possibility of nuclear war against North Korea if any danger comes to our territory of Guam, or the possibility of a conventional war which would bring great destruction and death to our ally, South Korea, where the capital, Seoul, is less than a hour from the Demilitarized Zone, and millions of people live, including hundreds of thousands of Americans, a few million foreigners, and 28,000 American soldiers and their dependents.

Trump has also brought up the possibility of military intervention in Venezuela, which is a major problem, but we do not worry about human rights in other nations around the world, and instead promote the image of America, the imperialist nation, throwing its weight around in Latin America.

The last thing we need is to have military intervention in northeast Asia and in South America, to add on to the wars in Afghanistan, and against ISIS (ISIL) in the Middle East, along with alienating China, which we need as a supporter to curb the ambitions of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Trump is out of control in foreign policy, and foreign leaders are shocked at his loose language, and building up the tensions on the Korean peninsula, something never witnessed with any other American President. Our allies in Europe, and in Canada, Australia, Mexico, Japan and South Korea are not quite sure how Trump can be contained in his dangerous rhetoric and impulsive actions.

And Trump also has ignored the mosque bombing in Minnesota, refusing to condemn it, and now the right wing White Supremacists (Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, Alt Right) have provoked violence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, leading to the death of one person and nineteen injured, and Trump refusing to condemn these groups, and acting as if all sides in the debate over the statue of Robert E. Lee being removed are equal, when that is the furthest from the truth. To compare left wing groups to the right wing as equals is totally preposterous, but Trump continues to refuse to repudiate the right wing extremists who promote racism, antisemitism, nativism, and misogyny, including such hate mongers as David Duke and Richard Spencer.

All this adds up to the reality that Donald Trump has been a disastrous President, is getting worse by the week, and the move ahead by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to question those who have worked in the West Wing of the White House is a major move toward bringing closer the end of the Trump Presidency, as grounds for impeachment are growing.

Many Republicans and conservatives have repudiated Trump in various ways, and my article on History News Network, just published on August 6, and on the right side of this blog, details the growing opposition to Trump, and makes clear the dangers he faces as we finish Month 7 of the Trump Presidency!

Trump Goes Ballistic, Condemns Jeff Sessions, And Implies Threat Against Robert Mueller: A President Gone Nuts!

Donald Trump is certifiably nuts, as evidenced by his NY Times audio interview, in which he attacked his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and implied a threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with attacking the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and implying that the new FBI nominee, Christopher Wray, would be loyal to him. Trump seems not to understand that the FBI is NOT supposed to profess loyalty to any President, but to the rule of law!

This came after the luncheon with Republican Senators, in which Trump, with Nevada Senator Dean Heller sitting next to him, threatened him if he did not support the horrendous Health Care legislation that cannot get 50 Republican Senate supporters. Trump also attacked one Republican, Rand Paul of Kentucky, who had not attended the luncheon, and has come out against “TrumpCare”.

Heller just laughed, which was appropriate, and probably enraged Trump, and may have led to his tirade NY Times interview later in the day.

President Trump is coming apart at the seams, and he is more dangerous every day with his access to the nuclear codes, and his “Bromance” with Vladimir Putin, and his alienation of our NATO allies.

This is no longer tolerable, and there must be mobilization of masses of people in every state and in the nation’s capital, demanding his resignation.

The people must rise and demand action, and force the Republican Congress to put them ahead of their own agenda, or else suffer a massive defeat in 2018, which may happen in any case.

It is time for Republicans to stop party loyalty to a President who is very willing to “throw them under the bus”, and has no loyalty to anyone except his own family. It is time for them to move toward impeachment, which is a political act, not a legal act, and can be done as long as a majority of the House of Representatives wants it, and if 19 Republican Senators are willing to remove Trump, based on abuse of power, obstruction of justice, collusion with Russia which borders on treason, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

We are in danger of a complete dissolution of civil order, as our civil liberties and national security are at stake with this madman in the White House!

Today is the six month mark of the Trump Presidency, and it has been a literal nightmare, and action must be taken to resolve this nightmare!