Michigan

A Doctor In Michigan, A College Professor In Kansas, An Afghanistan Army Veteran From Illinois: All Facing Deportation

Lukasz Niec (Poland)—-Syed Ahmed Jamal(Bangladesh)—Miguel Perez, Jr. (Mexico)–these are just three victims of Donald Trump’s nativism, accomplished through heartless policies of the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

Nativists, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Counselor Stephen Miller, and ICE’s Director Thomas Homan, are leading a Reign of Terror on all undocumented immigrants of all ages and longevity in America, and having a clean record without any crimes is not enough.

So we are having people here 30-40 years in many cases, who have no memory of the country they were born in, have no family connections, do not know the language of their native country, and in many cases will be endangered and possibly killed by returning to a strange land, facing deportation.

As the three mentioned above, a doctor in Michigan, a college professor in Kansas, and an Afghanistan Army veteran in Illinois–ripped apart from their homes, businesses, jobs, and family members–a despairing situation which will insure these monsters in government and the administration of Donald Trump, will be condemned in history, with Fortune Magazine already lowering the rating of the United States as a democracy which pursues human rights, to a lower category of a flawed democracy, similar to Poland, Mongolia, and Italy among other nations, for the first time in American history.

This violation of civil liberties, and the threats against sanctuary cities by the federal government, are a sign of Fascism and authoritarianism taking over, and it cannot be allowed to stand, by all decent Americans.

We have not learned from past violations of civil liberties and civil rights, and we are living through a dark period of American history.

American History Since The Civil War: President’s Party Loses 32 House Seats And 2 Senate Seats In First Midterm Election

American history tells us that the party of the President regularly loses seats in the first, and all but once in the second (when it occurs) Presidential term of office.

The one major exception was 1934, when in the midst of the Great Depression, and FDR’s New Deal programs, the Democratic party gained 9 seats in the Senate and 9 seats in the House of Representatives.

Also, in 2002, after September 11, George W. Bush and the Republican Party gained 2 seats in the Senate and 8 in the House of Representatives.

And Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party, in the second term midterm election in 1998, gained 5 House seats, with no change in the US Senate.

That is the total historical record since the Civil War, more than 150 years, so it is clear that the Democrats will gain seats in the midterm elections of 2018.

The average since the Civil War is 32 House seats and 2 Senate seats, and if that happens precisely, the Democrats will have gained the House, needing only 24 seats, and the average historically being 23 seats, when one includes both first and second term midterm elections of a President.

But also, if the Senate were to see just the 2 seat gain as the average, then the Democrats would have the majority with 51 seats, which can be brought about by gaining the contested seats of Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and Nevada, where Dean Heller is seen as the most endangered Republican in 2018.

But to accomplish that, the Democrats must produce, miraculously. the retention of Senate seats in 10 Trump states in 2016–Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, Montana, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, and also retain the Minnesota seat recently vacated by Al Franken, and the New Jersey Senate seat of Bob Menendez, who faces another criminal trial after a hung jury. That will be a tall order for sure!

Time To Move Against Electoral College Distorting Popular Vote, Through National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement

The issue of the Electoral College having failed to elect the popular vote winner of the Presidency for a total of five times now, and twice in the last 16 years, continues to plague us, particularly when the present incumbent of the White House lost the popular vote by the biggest margin yet, 2.85 million votes.

There is no other political election in America where the person with the most popular votes is not the winner of the election.

The Founding Fathers might have seen the Electoral College as a necessary bulwark against mass popular control at the time, but once we began having popular votes in the 1824 Presidential election, it was an advancement of democracy, and the idea that a popular vote loser would win the Presidency was appalling.

It happened in 1824 in a four person race, but then, it occurred in 1876 with a two person race, and then in 1888, again with a two person race.

Since it did not happen again for more than a century, it was assumed to be flukes that would not happen again, and over the years of my teaching career, I was often asked whether it would happen again, and I responded, that while it could happen, it was highly unlikely that it would.

And then came the Presidential Election of 2000, where George W. Bush won with Supreme Court intervention stopping the recount in the state of Florida, winning that state over Al Gore by 537 votes out of six million cast, and therefore barely winning the Electoral College, despite a 540,000 popular vote lead nationally of Al Gore.

In 2016, the situation was even worse, as Donald Trump won by very small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.85 million popular votes, so five and a half times the popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump as compared to Gore over Bush in 2000, but Trump winning the Electoral College, but only 12 national elections with a smaller electoral vote majority out of a total number of 58 national elections.

The problem is trying to end the Electoral College by constitutional amendment is dead upon arrival, as it requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, followed by a majority vote in both houses of state legislatures (except in the one house of Nebraska) in three fourths of the states (38 out of 50). Clearly, that will never happen, particularly with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and four of the five times that the Electoral College failed, the ultimate winner was a Republican, and the loser each time was a Democrat.

But the alternative is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement, developed in recent years, with 10 states and Washington DC with 165 electoral votes agreeing by legislation that they would support the popular vote winner nationally, instructing their electors to do so. The problem is that the 10 states and DC are clearly, at this point, Democratic or “Blue” states—California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State.

Once states with 105 additional electoral votes agree to pass such legislation, it would go into effect, but that is the more difficult matter. At this point, 12 states with 96 electoral votes have had one house of the state legislature agree to such a law—Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma,and Oregon. Also, two other states have had committees in the state legislature approve it unanimously, with these two states—Georgia and Missouri—having 27 additional electoral votes.

So if all these states that have taken partial action completed the process in the next few years, we would have 24 states and DC, with a majority of the total popular vote and population, being capable of awarding the Presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and this would end the idea of a popular vote loser becoming President.

Republican reliable states—Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri—are part of this group, but the question is whether they will take the steps to put it into effect.

While there is no certainty this will ever happen, there is optimism that it will eventually occur, as otherwise, the possibility of a return of 2000 and 2016 is highly likely in the future, and not just once.

If this were to occur, it would promote a truly national Presidential campaign, instead of the present focus in recent decades on 12-15 states, and ignoring the clear cut “Blue” and “Red” states in favor of the “Purple” or “Swing” states alone.

Two Democratic Women Governors, And Six Democratic Women Candidates For Governor In 2018 Midterm Elections

The Democrats have two women Governors, and six other women running for Governor in the 2018 midterm elections.

Gina Raimondo in Rhode Island and Kate Brown in Oregon are running for reelection, and both would be favored to keep their Governorships in strongly Democratic states.

The six candidates have a more difficult road to travel, as they will have male challengers and opponents, and some of them in states won by Donald Trump.

Gwen Graham, daughter of former Florida Senator Bob Graham, will have challengers and opponents in the Sunshine State, which is strongly Republican in state elections.

Stacey Abrams is African American, and running in Georgia, also heavily Republican in recent decades.

Gretchen Whitmer is running in Michigan, a state that Donald Trump won by a small margin in 2016.

Cary Kennedy in Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, and African American wife of Congressman Elijah Cummings, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings in Maryland, have the advantage of running in Democratic states, but will have to fight off male opponents in the primaries.

None of the six women are guaranteed even nomination at this point, as primaries will decide that.

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.

The Year Of Democratic Women On The Ballot Coming In 2018: Ten Incumbents And Two Seeking Election To The US Senate

In the midterm Congressional elections of 2018, a total of 12 Democratic women will be on the ballot for the US Senate, with 10 coming up for reelection and two making major challenges against Republicans in Arizona and Nevada.

Altogether, there are 16 Democratic women in the US Senate in 2017, so all but six are facing reelection battles.

This includes women in Trump won states—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.

Additionally, in Hillary Clinton won states, the following Democratic women are up for reelection–Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, Diane Feinstein in California, Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, Maria Cantwell in Washington State, and Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota.

Jacky Rosen is competing for the Nevada Senate seat against most endangered Republican Senator Dean Heller, and Kyrsten Sinema is trying to win the Senate seat of Jeff Flake, who is not running for reelection in Arizona.

The odds for both Rosen and Sinema are seen as good, and could tip the balance of the US Senate, but only if the other women, particularly in Trump won states, are able to overcome their disadvantage.

Therefore, while all of the Democratic women except Heidi Heitkamp are backed by the pro choice Emily’s List organization, it is important NOT to have a litmus test for Heitkamp, who while supportive of Trump about 51 percent of the time, still supports many Democratic Party goals, although she is not truly pro choice on abortion. If we want purity, then the Senate will be lost, as such a Senator as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also running for reelection, is not any more pro choice than Heitkamp. The party needs to be more inclusive if it is to win and keep control of the US Senate in the future.

Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

In the midst of constant rehashing of the 2016 Presidential Election results, one point is being lost by political observers.

The nation is changing demographically very rapidly.

What happened in Virginia on Election Day this year is a sign of the future. Suburbanites, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and Independents swung over massively to the Democratic Party.

Those trends are not temporary, but permanent, as the older generation, which tends to be more conservative, dies off over the next decade, and the percentage of more educated people grows, and as the percentages of Latinos and Asian Americans start to change Sun Belt states.

So the near future is clearly that the states of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina will turn Blue, while the Rust Belt Mid West, not as populated with the groups that helped to make Virginia as Blue a state as it is (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) may go back and forth from Red to Blue, but in the Electoral College, the Rust Belt Mid West will matter much less than it did in 2016, assisting the victory of Donald Trump.

So one can say with a great amount of assurance that by 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will have the electoral advantage in the Electoral College, and are unlikely to lose it, as the Republican Party continues to alienate even their base of less educated and rural voters, and as the Sun Belt turns Democratic long term.

Of course, as part of this transition, the Democratic Party needs to move to the Left, be more progressive and liberal,and not come across as a moderate alternative to the Democratic Party, as that is the future of the party, to act more like it is the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson. This is what the groups which helped the Virginia victory desire for the future.

Republican Tax Plan Will Hurt Middle Class, Promote More Concentration Of Wealth, And Will Kill Republican Majority Whether It Passes Or Not!

The Republican Party’s attempt to promote “tax reform” will fail, whether it passes or not.

The likelihood is that Republicans in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California will refuse to vote for it, since it ends deduction of state and local income taxes on tax forms in those states.

It is also likely that a few Republicans in the US Senate will oppose it because of other aspects of the plan that make it uncomfortable to support.

The bill would victimize the middle class, and promote greater concentration of wealth in the top one percent and the corporations.

It would harm the white working class voters who put Donald Trump in office in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The legislation adds $1.75 trillion to the national debt, and cuts so many programs and benefits, displeasing deficit hawks because of the former, and moderates and independents due to the latter.

Charities will be harmed by the legislation, and home builders and real estate agents will be affected by limits on mortgage interest deductions, making people less willing to buy homes, and instead to rent their housing.

Corporations will gain the most from the legislation, and many Americans are angry that many corporations already pay little or no taxes.

The legislation would also hurt Obamacare in a different form, even after failure to repeal it earlier this year, and no replacement is offered for millions of Americans who benefit from it.

The end of the estate tax, which affects so few people, also will displease the average American, who does not understand why all inheritances should be untouched in any way by taxes, as wealthy people have a responsibility to pay their fair share in life, as well as at the end of life, rather than pass on tens of millions to their heirs, without any responsibility to contribute to the future of American society.

Also, medical deductions would be limited, and students who have massive loan payments would not be able to deduct any of them on their tax return, undermining the sick and the young.

One can expect that this legislation will not pass, and therefore will harm the Republican Party, but if somehow it does pass, it also will harm the Republican brand in the 2018 midterm elections!

Joe Biden Looks Ahead: His Diplomatic Experience, His Ability To Unite, His Authenticity May Be The Prescription Needed In 2020

Joe Biden has started to speak out openly about Donald Trump and the future of the nation and the Democratic Party.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows how much I admire Joe Biden.

I wanted him to be the 2016 nominee, but his son’s death prevented that race, but I do believe, had he been the nominee, he would have defeated Donald Trump among the white working class, the crucial vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

No politician is perfect, but Joe Biden still stirs the imagination of millions of Democrats and the American people.

His career of 36 years in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President is unmatched. His diplomatic experience, his ability to unite, and his authenticity may be the prescription needed in 2020.

His popularity and respect among Republicans and Democrats is unprecedented for a modern political leader.

The fact that he will be 78 years old days after the 2020 election causes him to be considered not a good choice for 2020.

But just as gender and race should not be barriers, even age should not be, as some older leaders have succeeded, such as Konrad Adenauer of West Germany and Winston Churchill of Great Britain.

This is not an endorsement of Biden for 2020, as ideally, a younger, fresher candidate is highly preferable.

But if Biden runs, and the people in primaries and caucuses want him, why not have him as the nominee in 2020, but with a much younger and well qualified Vice President just in case of tragedy.

Whether or not Joe Biden ever runs for President again, he is clearly a national treasure to be admired and respected!

Donald Trump Has Serious Mental Illness: No Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy, Sincerity, Decency, Only Self Serving Glorification!

Donald Trump is a horrible human being, and the crisis of Hurricane Harvey proves that he has no ability to demonstrate compassion, empathy, sympathy, sincerity, or decency, but rather only self serving glorification.

He visited Corpus Christi and raves about the size of the crowd, not seemingly realizing they are not there to see him, but are simply victims of a horrible natural disaster which has torn from them all their earthly belongings, and in some cases, the lives of their loved ones.

He does not talk about the victims, including the police officer who was swept away, and the family of six with a similar fate.

He does not embrace anyone and spend time commiserating with them, something Barack Obama did after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, the Sandy Hook Massacre in 2012, and so many other tragedies.

He does not put his arms around people and give a passionate speech as Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

He does not unite us as Ronald Reagan did after the Challenger Astronaut disaster in 1986.

The man is seriously mentally ill, and his inability to be the Uniter In Chief after a great tragedy disqualifies him to be President of “all of the people”.

Trump may be the President of the “deplorables” who only care about themselves, about money, and about hating everyone not like them.

But this man is a disgrace to the human race, and his wife wearing inappropriate footwear to a flood zone and the best clothing possible so she would look good for her husband, is a reminder of the King of France, Louis XVI, before the French Revolution, and the reported utterance about the masses: “Let them eat cake!”

There are no redeeming qualities about Donald Trump, and he will go down for sure as the most despicable and disgraceful President ever, a national nightmare foisted on us by the outdated Electoral College, and the selfishness and narrow mindedness of 78,000 people in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Sadly, it will take a long time to undo the damage Donald Trump has wrought in just over seven months, but the push to remove Trump by impeachment, or use of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, or resignation must move forward full scale, as every day he is in the Oval Office, he undermines the nation and the international community!