Kevin McCarthy

The Impact Of The California House Delegation–53 out of 435 House Of Representatives Members, And 16 Major Figures

California, the largest state with one out of every eight people in the nation–39.25 million out of 323 million in 2016—has 53 members in the House of Representatives–one out of every eight in the House.

Due to that reality, California House members tend to stand out as more significant than many in other state delegations, with 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans representing the state in the House of Representatives.

A large number of these Congressmen and Congresswomen are leaders in the House, and are often seen on cable television and on news websites.

Among the Republicans, we have:

Kevin McCarthy of the 23rd District is the House Majority Leader, second highest leader of the Republicans in the chamber.

Devin Nunes of the 22nd District is the House Intelligence Committee Chair, although he stepped aside on the investigation of Donald Trump, due to accusations that he had disclosed classified information to the public, and consulted with President Trump on committee actions.

Ed Royce of the 39th District is the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair.

Dana Rohrabacher of the 48th District has been controversial for his overly pro Russian, pro Vladimir Putin, advocacy.

Darrell Issa of the 49th District was the Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from 2011-2015, and is also known to be the wealthiest member of Congress.

Among the Democrats, we have:

Nancy Pelosi of the 12th District is former Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, and has been Minority Leader since 2011, and is, therefore, the highest ranking Democrat in Congress, and is always highly controversial as a result of her leadership position.

Barbara Lee is a very outspoken African American Congresswoman, representing the 13th District, and was the only person not to support the resolution authorizing the use of force after September 11, 2001. She has been in the past the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Jackie Speier of the 14th District has been a leader in the movement to expose sexual harassment, and to demand action on misbehavior of members of Congress.

Eric Swalwell of the 15th District has only been in Congress for five years, but has played a role on the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee on the ongoing investigation into Donald Trump and Russian collusion, and is often seen on cable news programs.

Zoe Lofgren of the 19th District serves on the Oversight and Judiciary Committees and is an important figure with her 22 years in the House of Representatives.

Adam Schiff of the 28th District has become the major figure on the Democratic side of the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Donald Trump and Russian collusion, and earlier served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has also served on the Appropriations Committee. He is considered an expert on foreign policy and national security issues. He is often seen on cable news programs.

Brad Sherman of the 30th District is a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has been in the House of Representatives for 21 years. He has also served on the Financial Services Committee.

Ted Lieu of the 33rd District has been in Congress for only three years, but is already an outspoken member, including a call for the impeachment of Donald Trump, and he has been made an Assistant Whip by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. He serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees in the House of Representatives.

Karen Bass, African American from the 37th District, serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees, and is quite outspoken, despite only seven years in the House of Representatives.

Linda Sanchez of the 38th District serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and is ranking member of the Ethics Committee, and is Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She is also the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, 5th ranking position in the House Democratic leadership, and first woman of color ever to be elected to a leadership position in the history of the US Congress.

Maxine Waters of the 43rd District, and African American, is the most outspoken critic of Donald Trump in Congress, and has called for his impeachment and removal from the Presidency. She has long been a firebrand on many issues, and is the most senior of twelve black women serving in Congress. She is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and has been in Congress since 1991. She was also a strong critic of President George W. Bush, as well as of President Barack Obama. She also is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, and previously served on the House Judiciary Committee. She has come under fire for her confrontational manner, and has been accused of and investigated for ethics violations.

So 5 Republicans and 11 Democrats, almost one third of the 53 House members from California, are major figures in what goes on in the House of Representatives on a daily basis.

The Tea Party, Or Freedom Caucus, Or Liberty Caucus Of Republicans: A Danger To Political Stability Of The Nation!

There is a group of extremist right wing Republicans in the House of Representatives, coming almost exclusively from “Red States”. with particular emphasis in the South, that is out to destroy any chance of political stability in the nation.  They are supported by many radio talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Ann Coulter, among others.

They are in the process of causing the disintegration of a major political party, the Republicans of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and even Ronald Reagan in their mad quest to take us back to the Gilded Age of the 19th century, as they pursue destroying the good faith and credit of the United States, and wiping out the reforms of the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society.  They want to shut down the government, and refuse to raise the debt limit, radical actions which would undermine our nation’s economic stability.

They promote racism, nativism, misogyny, and Islamophobia, and the worship of unbridled capitalism and the libertarian philosophy of Ayn Rand, mixed with a mean spirited view of Christianity toward the poor and the disabled, sick and elderly in American society.

They want to promote a high moral standard on society, while they do not practice it themselves, but spout extreme religious dogma, and they want to send America into wars overseas even though most of them have never served in the military, and would not allow their sons and daughters to sacrifice their lives in foreign crusades.

They have a hatred toward President Barack Obama bordering on obsessive-compulsive behavior, and many would applaud the demise of our President by violence, as they have no moral compass despite their claims of religiosity.

They find the leadership of their party as insufficiently conservative, attacking Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and Senator John McCain as examples of insufficient conservatism, considering them RINOS (Republicans In Name Only).

They call themselves the Tea Party Caucus, or the Freedom Caucus. or the Liberty Caucus, but their precise membership is fluid, but includes from three to four dozens members of the House of Representatives, with the greatest number from the major populated states of Texas and Florida, numbers two and three in population nationally.

They are holding the Speakership of the House of Representatives hostage, and the uncertainty about who the next Speaker will be, and what he will do on crucial budget issues, is undermining faith in our government. And the fact that the Speaker, whoever he is, is second in line for the Presidency under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, endangers the Presidency itself, in case of an emergency!

Democratic Debate Demonstrates Competence, Statesmanship, And Class, Unlike Republican Debates!

The first Democratic debate last night demonstrated competence, statesmanship, and class, unlike the Republican debates.

Hillary Clinton won the debate without question, and reminded us of her ability, knowledge, expertise, and experience. sorely needed in the White House to follow Barack Obama.

Only Joe Biden might be a good alternative, but whether he will get into the race seems less likely, based on the debate results.

Having said that Hillary won the debate, it must be said that Bernie Sanders showed class in making clear that enough had been said about the Clinton Email controversy, and that it was time to focus on the major issues facing the country, and who was qualified to deal with those issues.

The Kevin McCarthy admission that the Benghazi committee had been formed to undermine Hillary, rather than any belief that anything wrong had been done by her, was the nail in the coffin of those who are out to undermine Hillary’s competence to be President.

Sanders may not have won the debate, but he did far better than most Republicans have in their debates.

And Martin O’Malley also performed well, but sadly is running at the wrong time and the wrong election.  He is well qualified but there is no easy way to overcome Hillary or possibly Joe Biden in this election round.

The Democrats’ top three showed why the Democrats offer a far better alternative for national leadership than the Republicans do, with their narrow minded and mean spirited attacks on immigrants, women, minorities, and the struggling middle class.  And the news that 15 million watched the debate is wonderful, although it does not match 20-25 million who watched the GOP debates.  But remember it is Donald Trump that caused such large audiences to watch in those two debates.

As long as the GOP allows its extreme elements to control events in Congress and in the Presidential race, they are doomed to ultimate defeat in November 2016!

The Destruction Of The Speakership Of The House Of Representatives Under Republican Control Since 1994

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and is the top constitutional officer in the legislative branch of government.

The Speaker is chosen by the majority party in the chamber, and he has responsibilities which include introducing the President of the United States at a State of the Union address, and all other special speakers to a joint session of Congress, including foreign government leaders.  The Speaker has been second in line of succession to the Presidency since the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.

The Speakership has had its major figures historically, including those for whom House Office Buildings are named: Joseph Cannon, Nicholas Longworth, Sam Rayburn, and Thomas “Tip” O’Neill.  It also has had a President, James K. Polk, and two Vice Presidents, Schuyler Colfax and John Nance Garner, as Speakers.  It also had three Presidential nominees, John Bell, James G. Blaine and Henry Clay.

Henry Clay was the greatest single figure in the whole history of Congress, who ran for President three times, including against Polk in 1844.  It also has had Thomas B. Reed, who promoted the growth of the office to its all time greatest authority, continuing under Joseph Cannon.

It also had John McCormack, who played a major role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and much of the Great Society programs of Lyndon B. Johnson.  Had there been no 25th Amendment passed in 1967, Carl Albert would have succeeded Richard Nixon when he resigned in 1974.  Were it not for Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to be Speaker, there would have been no ObamaCare legislation passed in 2010.

It was a rebellion of progressives in the Republican Party in 1910 , in combination with the minority Democrats, that created a “revolution” in House rules, stripping the Speaker of the absolute control of events that existed under Thomas B. Reed and Joseph Cannon, but still the office has played a major role in American history.

Since the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in 1994, after 40 years of being in the minority, and keeping control except for 2007-2011, the Speakership has become an office of disaster and controversy.

First, Newt Gingrich became very confrontational with Bill Clinton, and caused crisis after crisis, until he was forced to resign, with his private scandalous love life being discovered as Bill Clinton faced impeachment for his own scandalous love life.  Bob Livingston was supposed to succeed Gingrich, but his own private scandalous love life prevented that, so Dennis Hastert, a back bencher, became Speaker, lasted longer than any Republican in the position, and avoided most controversy, until now in retirement we have learned of his abuse of male students while a teacher and wrestling coach in high school in the years before he engaged in politics.

John Boehner came into the Speakership under Barack Obama, and faced a Tea Party rebellion, which prevented ability to negotiate, and finally, he lost the confidence of his party, and decided to resign, but his planned successor, Kevin McCarthy, self destructed in the past two weeks, and decided yesterday that he would not run for Speaker, uncertain of support of the Tea Party element.  So now Boehner is back temporarily, and there is a major crisis among House Republicans as to who would be acceptable as an alternative, with Paul Ryan, head of the House Ways and Means Committee and 2012 Vice Presidential nominee, being pressured to take the job, but not wanting to take it.

The Speakership is in crisis, and the Republican Party has done great damage to the position in the past 21 years, and besmirched the historical reputation of the position and of the House of Representatives, and the only way to retrieve it is the hope that, somehow, the Democrats can regain control in 2016, but considered highly unlikely!

House Speaker Becomes A Race: Kevin McCarthy, Jason Chaffetz, Or Daniel Webster? YES, Daniel Webster (Not The Famous One)!

There is now developing a real race for who should be Speaker of the House, in the wake of the resignation of John Boehner.  It will make us miss Boehner, for all of the faults and shortcomings he possesses!

Present House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has flubbed badly in his comment on the House Benghazi Committee investigating the attack in Libya which led to the death of the ambassador and three others on September 11. 2011.  That committee has been in business longer than any special committee in the history of the United States, and is seen as a purely partisan venture. McCarthy made it clear that the committee was formed to weaken  Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, and now has tried to backtrack that statement, infuriating Jason Chaffetz of Utah, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has decided to challenge McCarthy for the Speakership.

McCarthy comes across as incompetent and a poor candidate to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and his inability to use good judgment on what to say publicly, plus his lack of experience (only nine years), lack of accomplishments, and his use of words such as “Hungria” for the nation “Hungary”. and making up a new word for Hillary Clinton (untrustable) instead of “untrustworthy”, raises intelligent people’s eyes.

But Chaffetz himself, while better spoken, has only seven years in the House, two fewer than McCarthy, and he was a former Democrat, who actually campaigned for Democrat Michael Dukakis for President in 1988, before meeting former President Ronald Reagan in 1990, seemingly transforming his  life.

To top it off, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster from central Florida, a distant relation of the famous Massachusetts Senator of the same name before the Civil War, but no match for his ancestor, is also in the race, and is seen as a Tea Party candidate for the Speakership.

This whole embarrassment of the battle between McCarthy, Chaffetz, and Webster makes clear that the nation is in trouble, having to look at any of these three men as being two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it will make us wish John Boehner had not resigned.

And the job to make the House Republicans be united and responsible, with the Tea Party element of 40 or so members the balancing act, means tough times ahead for the GOP, and gives a glimmer of hope that the Democrats might, maybe, be able to squeak out a majority of seats in the 2016 elections, but considered highly unlikely!

Kevin McCarthy, Incompetent And Unqualified, Soon To Be Two Heartbeats From The Presidency!

There have been many complaints over the past five years about Speaker of the House John Boehner, from the far right, and from the left, but at least we knew that Boehner had 20-25 years experience and was at least, basically, competent.

Now, with Boehner’s resignation, we are soon to be stuck with California Congressman Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker, a man who admits that the Benghazi, Libya hearings were simply designed to weaken Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton, and that the doctored Planned Parenthood videos are a ploy to help promote the anti abortion movement, and uses a word that does not exist, that Hillary Clinton is “untrustable”! He also called the nation of Hungary “Hungria”!

McCarthy is seen as better than Tea Party rivals, who would love to take over the Speakership, but McCarthy, with the least experience in Congress of any Speaker in more than a century, a total of only nine years and no special accomplishments and only two bills passed (both perfunctory), is someone to be concerned about as being only two heartbeats away from the Presidency!

Kevin McCarthy can be compared to former Vice President Dan Quayle in his looks and lack of any sign of intellect, and also to Sarah Palin, who also was good looking but lacking the brain power to be close to the Presidency!

What is it about the GOP that they find “good looking” men and women, who have no brains or intellect, and are a sign of the worst among us, putting the nation into danger by being so close to the Presidency, as Quayle was for 4 years; as Palin could have been for eight years: and as McCarthy now seems to be for at least the next 14 months, if not more?

America deserves much better than this!

The Crisis In The Speakership Of The House Of Representatives: Not A Laughing Matter!

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, second in line for the Presidency behind the Vice President of the United States.

Therefore, who is the Speaker of the House is not an idle matter, but of crucial importance, that he or she be a mainstream, responsible public official.

The Republican Party has produced disasters in the Speakership since 1994.

First, we had Newt Gingrich, who had a scandalous private life, and was extremely confrontational in his dealings with President Bill Clinton, and yet, right wing conservatives were unhappy with him, and he resigned after two terms as Speaker, a total of four years.

Then, his theoretical successor, Bob Livingston, was forced to turn down the Speakership, due to his own private life scandals.

Then, Denny Hastert became Speaker, seemed noncontroversial, and in comparison to Gingrich and Livingston, was just that.  But now, years after his decision to leave Congress after the Republicans lost control of the House in 2006, Hastert faces prosecution and is involved in a sex scandal involving when he was a high school wrestling coach 35 years ago.

And then, there was John Boehner, who lasted almost five years, but was under constant attack by the far right Tea Party Movement, and now has decided to resign at the end of October.  Boehner created constant confrontations with Barack Obama, but also, at times, was cordial with limits imposed by his party’s dynamics.

Eric Cantor, who was supposed to be Boehner’s successor, unexpectedly lost his seat in a nomination fight last year, just as he had the chance to become the first Jewish Speaker of the House, and his defeat apparently delayed Boehner’s decision to leave, until now after the Pope has visited the United States, and spoken before the Congress in joint session.  This event brought out the tears so common to Boehner, a devout Catholic.

Now the issue is who should succeed Boehner, two heartbeats away from the Presidency, with new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  of California favored even though he has only been in Congress nine years, has sponsored no important legislation, and never would have been in this position had Eric Cantor not been defeated  last year.

McCarthy seems pleasant enough on a personal basis, actually more than Gingrich, Livingston, Hastert, and now Boehner, but will the right wing Tea Party movement be satisfied with him, and will he be responsible enough to conduct himself with a willingness to work with President Obama for the next year?

What if a true right wing extremist ends up as Speaker, with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a possible successor seen as a true extremist and often compared by many to David Duke, the former KKK leader, due to Scalise’s opposition to a Martin Luther King Holiday in Louisiana, one of the last states to adopt it?

America cannot tolerate a right wing extremist to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it can be hoped that, under the present circumstances, Kevin McCarthy become Speaker, but somehow, although unlikely, hope that disillusionment with the Republican control of Congress leads to Democratic control of the House, as well as the Senate, to occur in the 2016 national elections.

Since the House is gerrymandered, giving the GOP control despite more total popular votes for the chamber being Democratic, this seems unlikely, but those who feel it is urgent that the next Democratic President have both chambers of Congress willing to work with him or her, must work very hard to try to elect a Congress controlled by the Democrats!

The Shame Of Alabama, The Republican Party And the Supreme Court On The 50th Anniversary Of The Selma To Montgomery March!

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965.

On this significant anniversary, three things are clear.

Alabama has NOT shed its image of bigotry!

The Republican Party, many of whose members supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is not sending anyone to commemorate this event. Late news reports indicate that former President George W. Bush and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are to show up, but few other Republicans, and none other than McCarthy in the leadership of the GOP.

And the Supreme Court has contributed to the withering away of the Voting Rights Act by its 2013 decision permitting new voting rights restrictions!

Not only is racial discrimination still very obvious in Alabama and much of the South, but now Alabama is the center of a so called states rights struggle over gay marriage, with the state Supreme Court, headed by George Wallace like Chief Justice Roy Moore ordering that gay marriage be stopped, after a federal judge ordered it go forward, and with the Supreme Court poised to consider the case, which will be decided by June.

So prejudice, discrimination, and the false argument of states rights still reigns in the original home of the Confederate government!

And for the GOP to bypass major representation at this premier civil rights anniversary is to the shame of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

And for the Supreme Court and African American Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts to promote a weakening of the Voting Rights Act two years ago, and see what it has wrought on voter suppression, is to the shame of the top Court of the land, which has not done its job to uphold the Constitution of the United States!

Have We Gone From Speaker John Boehner To Speaker Ted Cruz?

The Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives have made life miserable for Speaker of the House John Boehner, blocking actions he has wished to take over the past two years, and now again, they are blocking any action on the immigration crisis of Central American women and children at the US-Mexico border!

Instead, the Tea Party Republicans are stalling any action, on the advice and prodding of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, which is privately infuriating Boehner and mainstream conservatives in the GOP!

So, apparently, for the first time in American history, a lunatic right winger in the Senate, and his name is NOT Joseph McCarthy, is undermining his own party in the lower chamber, while laying waste to doing as much damage as possible to the Senate, and its GOP leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky!

So civil war is occurring, and it is causing disrespect for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and it is hard to imagine the scenario in January 2015, if the GOP keeps the House of Representatives and gains control of the US Senate!

The odds of a Speaker Boehner are dwindling rapidly, and we could end up with a Tea Party Ted Cruz backed Republican as Speaker of the House, so new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California had better pay heed!

New Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy A Vast Improvement Over Eric Cantor!

The Republicans have selected their new Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, in the aftermath of the defeat in the Virginia primary of Congressman Eric Cantor.

Kevin McCarthy of California becomes the fastest rising figure to House leadership in American history, being in the House only seven years, and being Majority Whip after only four years.

McCarthy has a winning personality; has the ability to cross the aisle to make deals; and is seen as someone who, while promoting the Republican cause, is not a man who will show the kind of lack of respect for the President and the White House that John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and so many others have demonstrated in the past three and a half years!

A kinder, more gentle approach does legions for anyone in any field of work, and McCarthy will be a vast improvement over Eric Cantor.

It would be a good move for McCarthy to become Speaker of the House, replacing John Boehner, IF the GOP holds on to the House in the midterm elections. Boehner has worn out his welcome, and with a Speaker McCarthy, it is possible to imagine SOME progress on SOME issues, and at least, a more cordial relationship with President Obama, which sets a good example for the nation, as the country is sick and disgusted with the constant confrontation of the past three and a half years!

Of course, the Tea Party whackos will fight a more genial McCarthy, but interestingly, they were unable to prevent his elevation!

One could imagine a Ronald Reagan-Thomas “Tip” O’Neill relationship between Barack Obama and Kevin McCarthy, something that was never possible with John Boehner, and certainly would NOT have happened with Eric Cantor!

So the Cantor defeat, even if it elevates Professor David Brat to the Congress, arguably worse than Cantor, at least it brought us Kevin McCarthy as a potential future Speaker!