Midwest

Supreme Court Battle Could Move Potential Democratic Nominees Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, And Amy Klobuchar Into The Forefront

The battle over the Supreme Court nominee to be announced in four days by President Donald Trump could move potential Democratic Presidential nominees Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar into the forefront of the news.

All three potential candidates are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and all three are expected to be vocal in their opposition to whoever Trump appoints.

These three Democrats are part of the “newer generation”, as opposed to Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, all of whom will be past 70 or nearing 80 in the case of the first two named, in 2020.

Booker and Harris will be 51 and 56, and Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020.

Booker and Harris tend to be more vehement in their oratory, than is the case with Klobuchar.

Booker and Harris represent the Northeast and Pacific Coast respectively, while Klobuchar is from the Midwest (Minnesota), an important factor for the Democrats, who need to win the Midwest if they are to win the White House.

Sadly, Booker being African American, and Harris being mixed race (Asian Indian mother and Jamaican father) and a woman, have to be regarded as minuses in the present political atmosphere.

Klobuchar is also a woman, of course, but being Caucasian and from the Midwest are pluses, along with her avoiding being confrontational or overly controversial in her public utterances, as Booker and Harris tend to be, along with other women candidates Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren.

One might say that a progressive should be for the most leftist candidate possible, but this author and blogger at this point, which is very early, sees Amy Klobuchar as more “mainstream”, and in theory more electable in 2020.

Truthfully, however, there is no way to judge this early, 18 months before the earliest caucuses and primaries, and 28 months before Election Day on 2020, as to which Democrat is the best bet.

But these three Judiciary Committee members will certainly be making news in the next few months, before their likely announcements of Presidential candidacy.

Likely Changes In Electoral Votes And Congressional Seats As Result Of 2020 Census Figures

We are two years away from the 2020 Census, which will determine:

Electoral Vote Changes for 15 or 16 states
Congressional Seat Changes for 15 or 16 states
Federal Funding of Domestic Programs for all states

With Donald Trump’s attempt to cut population growth in the Census by putting fear into undocumented immigrants filling out the Census forms, it could affect all of the above.

As things now stand, 6 states are certain to gain electoral votes and Congressional seats, while 9 other states lose electoral votes by 2024, and Congressional seats by the 2022 midterm elections.

Interestingly, California, which has regularly gained multiple seats for decades, has not grown enough in comparison to the total population of the entire nation, so will for the first time ever gain no seats at all. Of course, with many undocumented immigrants, more than any other state, there is a theoretical possibility that California could, conceivably, lose a seat if enough of this group do not fill out Census forms.

The state of Virginia also has not grown enough, just like California, so is unlikely to gain a new electoral vote or Congressional seat.

Texas will likely gain 3 electoral votes and seats, while Florida will gain 2, and with Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oregon all gaining one each. All these states are in the Sun Belt, except Oregon in the Pacific Northwest.

So a total of 9 seats and electoral votes will be gained by a total of 6 states, which means those 9 seats will come from 9 different states, with 7 coming from the Northeast (Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania) and Midwest (Ohio, Michigan Minnesota, Illinois), and two from the South (West Virginia, Alabama).

It is also possible with changes in population in the next three years, that an additional seat could be lost by Illinois, and gained by Montana in the Pacific Northwest, which has lost a seat before, and might gain it back.

So at a maximum, 16 states will see their electoral votes and Congressional seats change, 7 gaining as a maximum and 9 losing as a maximum. The other 34 states will have no change at all.

Also, with Rhode Island about to lose a seat, it will be left with only one Representative At Large, joining Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Delaware, assuming Montana gains a seat. Otherwise, the total number of states with only one House seat would grow from 7 to 8.

A Potential Way For Democrats To Win White Working Class Vote Of Midwest And Pennsylvania In 2020: A Ticket Of Joe Biden And Sherrod Brown!

Face the facts: The 2020 Presidential race has begun, as several politicians in both parties, and even Donald Trump, have started to appear in Iowa and or New Hampshire, the first caucus and first primary state respectively.

There is a myriad of potential candidates for the Democrats, but the thought comes to mind that the Democrats cannot afford to sacrifice the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania, which were lost by Hillary Clinton by small margins in 2016.

And when one thinks about the wide variety of nominees, the thought that comes to mind, at least to this observer, is that a ticket that could win the vote that gave Donald Trump the victory in the Electoral College in 2016, is:

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN OF DELAWARE
SENATOR SHERROD BROWN OF OHIO

Biden and Brown, the KILLER BEES, were both under consideration in 2016, but Biden did not run due to the death of his son Beau Biden, and Brown was on a short list for Hillary Clinton, but Tim Kaine was selected instead.

Both Biden and Brown have made their careers to a great extent on the backing and support of the white working class, from which both came, and which both understand, and it is part of their “blood”, so to speak.

Brown must win his Senate seat in Ohio this November, but is favored, and has expressed interest before in higher office, and he has served two terms in the Senate, and 14 years before that in the House of Representatives, and also served as Ohio Secretary of State for eight years before coming to Congress. He also served in the Ohio legislature for eight years before that. So he has vast experience, being in elected office 42 of the past 44 years, since 1975

And of course, Joe Biden sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008, and is superbly qualified for the White House with 36 years in the Senate and eight as the most active and involved Vice President in history, shared with Walter Mondale under President Jimmy Carter, having served a total of 44 years from 1973 to 2017.

When have we had two people on a national ticket, each with 44 years in office by 2020? NEVER, and both are solid progressives who care about the American people!

Both Brown and Biden are aggressive campaigners, and great orators, and would know how to take the fight to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or any other Republican nominee for President.

Ohio is the crucial state in so many elections, and Brown could bring the whole Midwest and Pennsylvania to the Democrats, and Biden knows how to appeal to the struggling white working class.

Of course, many will say Joe Biden will be too old at age 78, and that Sherrod Brown at age 68 makes for an old ticket, and that no women or minorities or younger nominees would have the opportunity to be the nominees in a nation that is leaning toward a more diverse future. But Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, a community college professor, and Brown’s wife, Connie Schultz, a well respected journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2005, would also add to the campaign as future First Lady and Second Lady of the land. Schultz has focused on the underdog and underprivileged in her journalism career, and is now Professor of Journalism at Kent State University, after years of being a journalist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

The first goal is to WIN the White House, and it is hard to argue against the idea that a Biden-Brown ticket could bring success.

The Growing Likelihood Of A Democratic Woman Presidential Nominee In 2020: Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar

With the failure of Hillary Clinton to become President, and with the growing misogyny of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the likelihood of a Democratic woman Presidential nominee in 2020 has multiplied.

One would think that the failure to elect the first woman President would make it less likely that another woman would come along and challenge in a serious manner, but a large percentage of women clearly want such an eventuality.

There are four potential women Presidential candidates as the situation now exists: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California Senator Kamala Harris, and Wisconsin Senator Amy Klubuchar.

Their ideological bent is in that order, with Warren the most progressive and Klobuchar more to the moderate center.

Only Warren is well known at this time, but she tends to engender more fierce opposition, while also being, by far, the best debater.

Gillibrand has been a leader on sexual harassment in the military, while Harris has the least time in the Senate, but was formerly Attorney General of California, and reminds many of Barack Obama as she is mixed race with parents from India and the island of Jamaica. She has brought notice for her tough questioning and aggressiveness in just a few months in the Senate.

Klobuchar has been in the Senate longer than the other three, and much more effective at working across the aisle, and to try to accomplish legislation without dramatics. She comes from the Midwest, so might be better able to appeal to the Rust Belt. But she is not “exciting” in her personality, as compared to the other three women.

Trying to guess which would have the best chance, it would seem that Warren or Klobuchar, at the opposite ends of the Democratic Party from Left to Centrist, would have the best opportunities, but impossible to know.

Somehow, this blogger finds Amy Klobuchar interesting, and not to be ignored, but we shall see what develops.

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.

Strong Likelihood That Three Republican Women Senators Will Block Repeal Of ObamaCare!

The Republican Party is fast learning of vast and vehement opposition by their constituents to the repeal of ObamaCare and the decimation of Hedicaid.

Ordinary citizens are organizing in a manner that stands out as undermining any attempt of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other GOP leaders to destroy all of the good that has been done on health care under Barack Obama.

Americans, overwhelmingly, want Preexisting Conditions to remain being covered, and for no lifetime cap on benefits to be continued, as it benefits the millions of Americans who are disabled, elderly, sick, and poor.

There may have been doubt about ObamaCare due to racism, but now many of those who said they were opposed, have come to realize that the Affordable Care Act, the official name for ObamaCare, a term devised by obstructionist Republicans, actually has worked very well for 20-30 million Americans, including the expansion of Medicaid.

So it now seems that there is a strong likelihood that three Republican women Senator, none of whom face election to their seats until 2020, will save the day, and prevent repeal of ObamaCare.

These three women Senators are considered moderates, and represent poor states, which also have major Opioid addiction troubles, which would also be mostly thrown to the side by cuts in the health Care plan, as devised by the Republicans.

Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia are leagued in their recognition of the issues of how many of their constituents would be harmed if the repeal of ObamaCare goes through.

Expect all three to prevent action, and possibly some male Republican Senators too, including Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jeff Flake of Arizona and others, but the three women alone will be enough to derail the despicable legislation.

It would also be nice if the two other Republican women Senators—Joni Ernst of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska–two other poor states in the Great Plains-Midwest region, were to do the right thing, and if that happened, we would have all 21 women Senators, the 5 Republicans and 16 Democrats united together on a cause worth being unified around.

But that is unlikely to happen, but Collins, Murkowski, and Capito are likely to kill the bill without any help from any other Republican Senators, and if so, they will be applauded for their courage, ethics, and compassion for their constituents!

Rural America Under Attack By Republicans And Donald Trump, Undermining Their Future

It is ironic that Donald Trump has declared war on Rural America, the part of the nation which put him over the top in the Electoral College.

Rural America is dying, as its portion of the national population is rapidly declining, but they still have enough impact that they could help to put Donald Trump over the top, with the hope that his pledges to revive dying industries would occur, such as the coal industry in Appalachia.

Now these rural citizens are discovering that the so called Trump Health Care plan will cut their medical benefits dramatically, and close down rural hospitals, and therefore, insure many more deaths over time, all due to the obsession with destroying ObamaCare, rather than work to improve it.

Trump’s promotion of the race and religion cards skillfully manipulates the rural citizens of the South, Midwest and the Great Plains, and Mountain West to vote Republican, while their state legislatures continue to favor the elite wealthy, and cut back on education, health care, and protection of the elderly, sick, and disabled.

Donald Trump and his party are the most right wing they have ever been, and they are further undermining the future of Rural America, but only when the citizens finally understand what is happening, will there be any chance of bringing Rural America forward into the 21st century, while Trump and the Republicans are preventing any progress toward a more unified America.

Is it any wonder why more and more young people are fleeing the rural areas of the nation toward the urban areas, which have rejected the right wing philosophy of the GOP?

The hope is that over time the Republican Party will finally pay for its sins against Americans who are too naive and ill informed to recognize it in the present.

Barack Obama And Religious Extremism: Totally Accurate Statement, So Why The Outcry?

President Barack Obama spoke up on Thursday at the Annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on the dangers of religious extremism, promotion of one’s own faith as the only true faith, and legitimizing bloodshed and violence in the name of one’s God.

This was in reaction to the horrors that have been perpetrated by ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East, including beheadings of Americans, British, and Japanese hostages; and the even more horrific act of taking a Jordanian pilot, captured while attacking ISIL targets, and setting him on fire, causing him to be burned to death.

What Obama said was that any religion that endorses or promotes such bloodshed and violence should be condemned, and he reminded our nation, much of it totally unaware of our history, that we had seen the lynching, butchering, and setting on fire of a few thousand African American men and boys in the American South and Midwest over a period of more than a hundred years of Jim Crow segregation in the 19th and 20th century and Ku Klux Klan influence; had also experienced nearly 250 years of slavery, which included similar mistreatment; and that world wide, there had been the Christian war on Islam during the Crusades; and the Catholic Church Inquisition of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

Obama did not specifically mention the horrible persecution of Jews by Christians over two millenniums, and not just the Catholic Church, but also Protestant groups, including Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church; or the mass murder of Catholics vs Protestants in Northern Ireland, as recently as the period of the Irish Republican Army between 1969 and 1998.

And of course, in the Middle East, today, as shown by the setting on fire of a Jordanian who was Muslim, the old holy war of Shiite and Sunni Muslims continues unabated, as it has for 13 centuries; and there is also bloodshed between Muslims and Hindus in India; and turmoil in the Balkans, that led to mass murder by Christians against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

From what Obama reminded us of, plus the additional information provided here by the author, and well known to scholars, it is clear how devastating organized religion has been in its promotion of narrow mindedness and hate, and commitment to torture and extermination in the name of God, no matter which religion.

So Obama was offering a moral lesson, but yet the outcry by right wingers, who do not wish to be reminded of the sins of Christianity fanatics, and only wish to look at the Muslim fanatics today, and imagine that this is the whole story of religion in history, is very troubling. They fail to realize that many more Muslims have been killed by the barbarism of ISIL (ISIS), and their refusal to accept and recognize the history of Christianity as being just as full, historically, of violence and bloodshed, bodes ill for the future ability to understand and accept religious differences and promote religious tolerance!

Scott Walker, The New “Glamour Boy” Of The GOP: A Lightweight Candidate For President!

The new “glamour boy” of the Republican Party, being touted by many observers, is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who wowed many at the Iowa Conservative Conference, hosted by Tea Party Congressman Steve King.

Walker is a favorite of the Koch Brothers, who helped Walker to survive the recall attempt in 2012, and helped him win the gubernatorial race in 2014.

Since this third victory in four years, Scott Walker has been very cocky, arrogant and egotistical, bragging about having had three victories for Governor in four years, and how he is the “new face” that the Republican Party needs to win the Presidency.

The argument is that he can carry the Midwest and gain his home state for the Republicans, a claim that no serious political analyst believes to be true.

YES, a Governor who is Republican can win many states, but winning a Presidential election is something very different!

Walker has zero foreign policy expertise and knowledge, and demonstrated it on ABC’s This Week, in an interview with Martha Radditz. He showed the same lack of knowledge and smarts as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin showed in 2008.

Walker has done great damage to labor; to education; to health care for the poor and disadvantaged; and is being investigated for his connections to Tea Party and outside corporate interests.

Walker has taken the state of Robert LaFollette, Sr.; Robert LaFollette, Jr.; William Proxmire; Gaylord Nelson; Patrick Lucey; and Russ Feingold, and brought corruption and undermining of good government to the Badger State.

For that, he cannot be forgiven, and the goal must be to undermine his potential front runner status, mostly coming about as a “fresh face”, instead of retreads, such as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabbee; and more extreme right wingers, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.

Scott Walker is bad news, and he is starting to be exposed for the phony he is, and the lack of intellect that he clearly demonstrates!

“Selma” Film Brings Back Memories Of Bloodshed And Deaths Over Voting Rights, As We Look At Crippled Law Due To Supreme Court!

Watching the “Selma” film, which has been nominated for Best Film in the Oscar Awards competition, one is reminded of the turmoil, bloodshed, and deaths that occurred over the issue of voting rights in the South a half century and more ago.

The Voting Rights Act, which became law exactly 50 years ago, was designed to prevent any more such denial of the right to vote, but the right wing Supreme Court, including African American Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, changed the effectiveness of the law two years ago, causing new voting restrictions in the past two years in Republican controlled states, and not just in the South, but also in the heartland of the nation, the Midwest and Great Plains States, and even some Western states.

Shelby County V. Holder made it possible once again to create barriers to voting, and the battle for voting rights has new challenges, which already has had an effect on voting in the midterm elections of 2014.

But seeing this film about the Selma to Montgomery march fifty years ago, motivates those who believe in fairness and democracy, to do whatever can be done to restore the purpose of what those people who died or were injured then did, a sacrifice that should not be forgotten!