Mitt Romney

Trend Toward Older First Term Members Of Congress–Mitt Romney And Donna Shalala As Examples Of Trend

A trend that has developed lately is that some new members of Congress are older than usually at their swearing in, as compared to previous times.

We have two such examples in the 116th Congress.

Newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, will be two months short of age 72 in January. He lost the race for a Senate seat in Massachusetts to Senator Ted Kennedy in the Midterm Elections of 1994, 24 years ago, but now will be in the Senate a quarter century later.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, after being President of Hunter College from 1980-1988 and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1988-1993, was then President of the University of Miami in Florida from 2001-2015, and President of the Clinton Foundation from 2015-2017. She is now the new Congresswoman in the Miami, Florida district that was occupied by Ileana Ros Lehtinen from 1989 through 2018. It earlier had been the seat of the revered Claude Pepper from 1962-1999.

That seat in South Florida is an especially sacred seat in a sense, and Shalala will be one month short of age 78 when she joins the House of Representatives.

It Is Now Clear Donald Trump Will Face Fierce Opposition From Conservatives And Critical Republicans For 2020 Presidential Nomination

It is now clear that Donald Trump will not have a waltz to the 2020 Republican Presidential nomination.

The long term future of the Republican Party is at stake, after the disaster of the Midterm Elections of 2018.

Mike Pence can claim the Republicans are in good shape, but he is delusional, and we are on the way to a repudiation of not just Donald Trump, but his Vice President, even if by some chance, he becomes President before the Presidential Election of 2020.

It is assured that a President Pence would not be able to keep the office, and would be easily defeated in 2020, as is the case with Donald Trump.

So the question is where the Republican Party turns in planning its future.

The number of potential candidates is growing.

It includes those few who have had the smarts to speak out against Donald Trump, as anyone else is a public relations disaster.

So forget such Senators as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Lindsey Graham, all of whom have lost all credibility.

The list, therefore, only includes newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, and outgoing Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, and outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

It could also include two Republican Governors in “blue” states that easily were elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018—Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts–although neither Hogan, who has term limits in Maryland, and Baker, who has no term limits in Massachusetts–has publicly expressed interest in running for the White House.

But if the Republican Party wishes to survive long term, none of these, except possibly John Kasich, are seen as likely to have much effect in stopping Trump.

The one and only reasonable choice other than Kasich is a principled conservative of a younger generation who might inspire young people and educated people to return to the Republican Party.

That candidate is Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who would be 48, but nearing 49, by the time of the inauguration in January 2021.

If he were to run in 2020, with Nikki Haley as his Vice Presidential running mate, both only a month apart in age, it could be a winning team.

The Ultimate Outcome Of The Midterm Elections Of 2018: The Social Welfare, Social Justice State Is Permanent After 83 Years

The ultimate outcome of the Midterm Elections of 2018 is the success and institutionalization of the Social Welfare, Social Justice State, finally permanent after 83 years.

It all goes back to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the passage of Social Security in 1935, bitterly fought by Republicans and conservatives of that era, and still argued about by such leaders as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan over the next half century.

But in 1983, President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill negotiated a bipartisan deal to save Social Security, not destroy it as Reagan had wanted to do, and it is the fundamental part of the Social Safety Net.

In 1965, after years of opposition by Republicans and conservatives, Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society accomplished Medicare and Medicaid. It has continued to be attacked and condemned, but it has survived and is a great part of the Social Safety Net.

Then, in 2010, Barack Obama accomplished the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, with no cooperation from Republicans or conservatives, even though back in 1993, conservatives, with the support of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, came up with a very similar health care plan, in opposition to the Bill and Hillary Clinton health care plan, which ultimately failed of passage. Also, Mitt Romney in Massachusetts accomplished a very similar plan as ObamaCare, but ran against his own plan for the nation when he ran for President in 2012.

The Republicans continued to try to destroy ObamaCare ever since 2010, having 70 votes on it over the years, but Chief Justice Roberts and Senator John McCain in 2012 and 2017, respectively, backed continuation at crucial moments. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that, clearly, ObamaCare is here to stay, so like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare has survived and become a permanent part of the Social Safety Net.

The Democrats and progressives have accomplished these great pieces of legislation since 1935, and the goal has always been to improve the laws, as no one ever said they were perfect, but it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who have advocated and succeeded in accomplishing the Social Welfare, Social Justice state, and they should be very proud of the work they have done.

So FDR, LBJ, and Obama are the three most successful domestic policy Presidents, and not just in the areas mentioned in this article!

Candidates For US Senate Who Might Start First Term In Their 70s: Mitt Romney In Utah And Phil Bredesen In Tennessee

A new phenomenon is that newly elected members of the Senate are tending to come into office at advanced ages.

In 2019, we could have two new Senators in their 70s upon taking the oath of office to serve their states in the Senate.

Mitt Romney, the former Republican nominee for President in 2012, is almost certain to win the Senate seat in Utah, and he would be two and half months short of 72 in January 2019.

Phil Bredesen, the former Democratic Governor of Tennessee, if he wins the open Senate seat, would be two months past 75 in January 2019.

They would both surpass two other Senators who were a bit younger–Republican S. I Hayakawa of California who took office in 1977 at age 70; and Angus King, Independent of Maine, who was 68 in 2013 when first came to the Senate, and running again now in 2018 at age 74.

The Next Speaker Of The House IF GOP Keeps Majority: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Or Jim Jordan

If the Republican Party, somehow, holds on to majority control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, they will need to select a new Speaker of the House, as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

At this point, there are three key contenders for the Speakership in the Republican Party:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana

House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan of Ohio

All three, honestly, make outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan look better by comparison, and yet, my readers know how much I dislike, and have denounced Paul Ryan, including when he was the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, for which I was viciously attacked on several right wing websites at the time.

But seriously, Kevin McCarthy is practically the “lap dog” of Donald Trump, extremely loyal and obedient, and was seemingly aware of Russian Collusion in 2016, was talking about it at a Republican House conference meeting, until Paul Ryan told him to stop talking about it. He is a man without any principles other than the advancement of Donald Trump and his agenda, part of the Trump party, rather than the traditional Republican Party, and even more so than Paul Ryan, who has been unwilling to speak out against Trump’s disgraceful tweets and policies. McCarthy has refused to engage in Town Hall events in his Bakersfield, California district since 2010. He also promoted pursuit of Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi, Libya incident, where four diplomats were killed, gaining a reputation of promoting a “hit job” on her, when many more diplomats were killed at embassies during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Steve Scalise, thankfully, recovered from being shot at the Congressional baseball game in June 2017, but it had no effect on his views on gun control, which is no regulation at all. Beyond that, Scalise used to be a friend of Ku Klux Klan Wizard and white supremacist David Duke, although now, of course, he denies it, and tries to claim it was not so. He would, in this author’s view, be a worse choice than McCarthy. However, for those who are uncomfortable with McCarthy, and might prefer a Southerner as the next Speaker, due to the strong GOP presence in the South, he might be seen as a potential favorite, and certainly less disgraceful by comparison, to the third choice, Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jim Jordan, who is a co leader of the House Freedom Caucus, the most Far Right group in the Republican Party, has been accused of covering up abuse of athletes on the wrestling team at Ohio State University, when he was an assistant coach in the 1980s. He was one of the Republicans who promoted government shutdowns, and has done everything possible to block the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from pursuing investigation of the Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. He also pursed the Benghazi, Libya investigation of the deaths of four diplomats, targeting Hillary Clinton in a total of 11 investigations, which found no evidence of wrongdoing, and which featured 11 hours of testimony by Clinton, with no sign of weakness on her part, as compared to the performance of many others investigated by Congressional committees. Plain and simple, Jordan would be the absolute worst of the three choices being considered by the Republicans, although others might join the fray after the midterm elections.

It is indeed a very sad situation when we can look back on John Boehner as being far better than Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan.

Let us hope that one of the latter three will be the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker of the House in 2019-2020.

13 Democratic Women Senate Candidates, 11 Running For Reelection, And 2 New Candidates Competing in Arizona And Nevada In 2018 Midterms

In 2018, the US Senate has 23 women serving in the body, including 17 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

11 of the 17 Democratic women face reelection challenges in November.

These include the following:

Dianne Feinstein of California
Mazie Hirono of Hawaii
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Tina Smith of Minnesota
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Maria Cantwell of Washington State
Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin

Additionally, two women are running for election to the Senate:

Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
Jacky Rosen of Nevada

Also, Jenny Wilson is the Democratic nominee in Utah, competing against former 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney for the seat of retiring Orrin Hatch, but seen as having no real chance to overcome the well known Romney, much admired in Mormon dominated Utah.

At this point, six weeks before the midterm elections, all of the seated Democratic women Senators seem likely to be reelected, with the most contentious challenges being Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

The odds on the two women running for election in Arizona and Nevada also look good at this point.

So the odds are heavy that there will be 25 women in the Senate in 2019, with 19 being Democrats and 6 Republicans.

And in the cases of Wisconsin and Arizona, the Republican challengers are women, so already we can add Arizona as a state which will have its first woman Senator. Additionally, Nebraska’s Republican woman Senator, Deb Fischer, has a Democratic opponent who is female, so that assures that seat will continue to have a woman as well.

The Need For Top Advisers Around Trump To Resign, Or Lose Their Credibility

It is now three days since Helsinki, and the President is totally off the wall in his view of the Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, constantly changing his language, demonstrating total confusion and mental instability.

And we see his top advisers standing by smiling or having a poker face, and contradicting everything he says when not in his presence.

This includes his intelligence advisers, and his national security team.

Meanwhile, except for the few Republicans who are leaving Congress (Senator Bob Corker, Senator Jeff Flake, Congressman Mark Sanford), or Senator John McCain, who is in his last term even if he survives long term from his cancer battle, no one else is speaking out. There is the additional exception of John Kasich, who is leaving the Ohio Governorship, and also of Ben Sasse of Nebraska (who will face reelection in 2020 but has always spoken out), and Senate candidate Mitt Romney who is keeping his independence, knowing he will win the Utah Senate seat easily in November.

Everyone else is putting their career ahead of the country, absolutely despicable behavior.

As stated yesterday, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman needs to resign in protest, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and others in the cabinet, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, all need to group together and go to the White House and demand Trump resign, or they will announce their joint resignation.

One might say this would create total chaos, but it would be a public statement by the entire group, showing patriotism over political loyalty, and Vice President Mike Pence might be forced to join with them to insist, that for the good of the country, it is time for Trump to go!

We need a Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott, as with Richard Nixon and Watergate in 1974, and the people named above have the ability to restore their integrity and reputation by doing the right thing, and soon!

Proof Of How Far To The Right The Republican Party Has Gone: Rudy Giuliani And Mike Huckabee In 2008 And 2018

When one looks back at the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Senator John McCain of Arizona was the Republican Presidential nominee against Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, one realizes just how far Right the Republican Party has become in just a decade.

At that time, this observer recalled thinking that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee were quite moderate as compared to most of the candidates competing with both of them for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Giuliani was ahead in polls for the nomination in 2007, and came across as quite liberal in many ways, and his Mayoralty record made him look impressive, particularly after September 11, occurring near the end of his last term.

Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and was third in total delegates behind McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and came across as quite rational and not as an extremist.

Today, ten years later, both of these men have seen their reputations end up in tatters, as they both are among the most despicable supporters of Donald Trump. Giuliani has clearly engaged in helping Trump in his corruption, and is an embarrassment to his own reputation.

Huckabee has become a right wing extremist evangelical pastor, and his daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has done a horrific performance as the White House Press Secretary, actually worse than Sean Spicer, the previous Press Secretary in the first six months of the Trump Presidency.

Speaker Paul Ryan Dismissal Of Catholic Chaplain For Statement About Protecting Those Less Fortunate Is An Outrage!

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been a disgraceful Speaker, far worse than his predecessor John Boehner.

That is saying a lot, as Boehner was far from virtuous.

But Ryan who defines himself as a “devout” Catholic is nothing better than a phony, as his Catholicism and Christian beliefs are extreme right wing “prosperity” based.

The right wing Christianity condemns the poor and disadvantaged, and emphasizes acquisition of wealth over everything. the precise repudiation of the message of Jesus Christ.

So the decision of Ryan to dismiss the Catholic chaplain Patrick Conroy for his statement hoping that the recently enacted tax bill, which clearly benefited the rich over the rest of the population, that there should be no winners or losers in the legislation, and that benefits should be balanced and shared by all Americans, is to be condemned,

What is wrong with that statement? It is a Social Justice view of Catholicism and Christianity, totally appropriate, and the true message that Jesus preached.

Ryan’s abrupt decision, after he announced his retirement at the end of this year, was denounced by Democrats, but also many Republicans in the House of Representatives as totally outrageous and should not be happening.

It just adds to this blogger’s long held denunciation of Ryan, going back to when he was selected as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2012, which led to bitter attacks by many trolls on this author and his views on this blog, as well as on social media.

Now, more than ever, Paul Ryan has proved how disgraceful and biased a person he is, with his Ayn Rand, Social Darwinist view of his faith and of the rights of the American people.

Ryan would love to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other social safety net programs, and for that, he will be condemned in history.

Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan: A Failed And Disgraceful Figure In American Political History, And Total Sham!

Back in 2012, when Paul Ryan was chosen by Mitt Romney to be his Vice Presidential running mate, this author made clear his total distaste of the Wisconsin Congressman, who had made his career on balancing budgets, and cutting social programs from the New Deal on through the Great Society. He has now proved once again that he is a failed and disgraceful figure in American political history, and is a total sham!

It was made clear that Ryan was a disgraceful choice to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, had Mitt Romney won the Presidential Election of 2012.

As a result of my harsh criticism, I was bitterly attacked by the right wing, in a very vicious manner.

But I was correct in my assessment then, and since, and now, Paul Ryan is quitting Congress, and leaving the Speakership of the House of Representatives, at a time when he was facing a major challenge from Democrat Randy Bryce, an iron worker, who was totally disgusted by the hypocrisy and self serving of Ryan over his 20 year Congressional career.

Ryan set out from a young age, based on his Ayn Rand philosophy, to destroy the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other programs to help the millions of poor, disabled, sick, children, and elderly in our society. And yet, when his father died when Paul Ryan was not yet an adult, he received Social Security benefits, but now wishes to destroy FDR’s signature program!

At the same time, his goal was to cut taxes dramatically for the wealthy, and he succeeded under Donald Trump, blowing a massive hole in the budget, and now creating a $1 trillion increase in the national debt by so doing.

Ryan has done more to harm the future of the nation economically than just about anyone, and he has been unwilling to take a strong stand, or any stand, against Donald Trump’s abuse of power.

It almost seems as if he gets sexual thrills from hurting people, and yet, he claims to be a “good Catholic”, which most decent Catholics would totally disagree with.

The best response to Ryan leaving is “good riddance”!