New Jersey

Republicans, Normally States Rights Advocates, Now Trying To Limit States Rights On Sanctuary Cities, Marijuana Laws, And Oil And Gas Drilling!

The Republican Party is long famous for promotion of states rights, and their strong stand against national government authority over the states.

Oh, until now, when they are doing their best to LIMIT states rights.

The Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress are working to undermine “sanctuary cities”, major cities around the nation which are working to protect and support undocumented immigrants from arrest and deportation, as long as they have no criminal record.

Also, with eight states allowing marijuana use, and medical marijuana permitted in many other states, we have Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration trying to promote enforcement of penalties, that has led to tens of thousands of people in prisons, for possession and or sale of the drug, when there is no connection between marijuana and crime, or auto accidents, or deaths.

Also, oil and gas drilling off the coasts of the United States, is an attempt to take away environmental rights of mostly “blue” states, but with Florida, under Republican Governor Rick Scott getting special dispensation on the matter, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie working with Democrats to prevent such drilling off of New Jersey shores. But all the other states, along the Atlantic Coast, from New England to Georgia; the Pacific Coast; and Alaska should also have the freedom and authority to ban such energy exploration as detrimental to the environment.

When one compares the “Red” States and how they are governed, to the “Blue” states and their greater progress and open mindedness, it is as if we have two nations, and the Republicans are becoming so extreme that a chasm has developed between them and the Democrats.

Cory Booker And Kamala Harris Appointments To Senate Judiciary Committee A Boost To Their Predicted Presidential Candidacies In 2020

The appointment of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris to the Senate Judiciary Committee is a boost to both legislators, both considered likely Presidential candidates a year from now.

Booker is African American, and Harris is mixed race with a parent born in Jamaica and a parent born in India.

Both have exceptional credentials, with Booker having bachelors degree in political science and masters degree in Sociology from Stanford; a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in American history; and a law degree from Yale Law School. He served on the Newark City Council from 1998-2002; as Newark Mayor from 2006-2013, and has been in the US Senate since 2013. He has also served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Environment and Public Works Committee. He is an impressive orator and highly intelligent and qualified.

Kamala Harris graduated Howard University in Washington, DC, and Hasting Law School of the University of California. She worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and the City Attorney’s Office, and then was elected and served as San Francisco District Attorney from 2004-2011, followed by election and service as California Attorney General from 2011-2017, and was elected to the Senate to serve beginning in 2017. She serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs; Budget Committee; and Intelligence Committee; as well as her recant appointment to the Judiciary Committee. She is highly regarded for her oratory and intellectual brilliance.

Having had the excellent experience of Barack Obama in the Presidency, we now have the possibility of another person who is not white being a future President, and very possibly over time, both of them, with Harris being 56 and Booker 51 in 2020, so the long range potential is clearly present, if not in 2020, for a future President Booker or President Harris or both over time!

Off Shore Drilling Prevented In Florida By Rick Scott Intervention: Time To Prevent All Off Shore Drilling On All Coasts Of United States!

The Trump Administration and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke have called for open offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and in the waters surrounding Alaska, a violation of past environmental policies.

Favoring the oil and gas industries over the preservation of our coastlines is an outrage, and all Governors of the states affected have protested, rightfully.

But already, Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida, who plans to run for Bill Nelson’s Senate seat this fall, has joined Nelson and Republican Senator Marco Rubio in pressing for leaving Florida out of the offshore drilling edict, and the Trump Administration and Zinke have caved in, clearly for political reasons.

But that is not enough, as all states with ocean shoreline should be freed from this cave in to the oil and gas industry, and we do NOT need such exploration of our oceans, and too many oil spills and accidents have occurred, which kill of ocean life and pollute the waters.

The problem is that most of the coastal states are “blue”, or Democratic states,in New England, the Middle Atlantic, and the Pacific Coast. This includes Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, with only the latter three being Republican states, as is Florida. The Pacific Coast states include Washington, Oregon, and California, along with Hawaii and Alaska, with all but Alaska being Democratic states. Alaska, Florida, and California are the top three in coastline waters.

This should not be a political issue, and the fight to protect our wetlands is one that must be fought in a vehement, no holds barred, manner.

It should also include any new drilling in the Great Lakes area and along our various river systems, as we need to move toward alternative sources of energy, as so many nations in Europe, particularly Germany as an example, are doing.

As 2017 Ends, Trump Approval Rating In Rapid Decline, And Democrats In Rapid Rise Among Major Voting Groups

As 2017 ends, Donald Trump is in free fall in his approval rating.

CNN has just come up with new figures that show the Trump base is rapidly declining in its support of the person they backed in 2016.

The approval rating overall has dropped to an all time low of 32 percent from a high in February of 39 percent right after Trump’s inauguration.

Republicans have dropped from 84 percent to 76 percent in their support, shocking in the fact it has not dropped much more, and a sign that the GOP might be in its death knell, as many observers have predicted.

Men have declined in support from 45 percent to 40 percent.

Whites support for Trump dropped from 49 percent to 41 percent.

Those over 50 years of age declined in support of Trump from 47 percent to 38 percent.

White Evangelicals, a major part of Trump support, despite the hypocrisy involved, went from 78 percent to 61 percent.

And White Non College support went from 56 percent to 46 percent.

When specific groups of voters have dropped 5 points to 17 points in nine months, that is a danger sign for the future.

Beyond these specific groups, it is clear that women, young voters, suburbanites, college educated, and African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans are clearly going over to the Democratic Party, and this is what fueled victories in New Jersey, Virginia, and Alabama.

So the future bodes well for the Democratic Party in the upcoming Congressional and Gubernatorial and state legislative races in November 2018.

Numerous Polls Show Major Democratic Advantage For 2018 Midterm Elections

At the time when the despicable Republican controlled 115th Congress has just passed the most reprehensible tax legislation in American history, with all GOP Senators, including those once thought to be opposed, supporting the legislation, and only 12 GOP House members from New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and California voting against it, including five New York, four New Jersey, 1 North Carolina, and 2 Californians, there is a bright development.

Numerous public opinion polls are giving the opposition Democrats a major advantage for the 2018 Midterm elections.

A CNN poll shows an 18 point advantage for the Democrats.

A Quinnipiac poll shows an edge of 15 points for the Democrats.

A Monmouth poll shows the same 15 points edge for the Democrats.

A Marist poll gives the Democrats a 13 point lead.

And an NBC and Wall Street Journal polls gives the Democrats an 11 point lead.

It is traditional for the party not in the White House to gain seats and often control in the first midterm election of a President, with the major exception of 1934, and very minor changes in 1998 and 2002.

So the question is not whether the Democrats win the majority in both houses, but how much of a margin they might have, so they can attempt to reverse much of the damage perpetrated by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

The White, Educated, Republican Suburbs Moving Toward Democratic Party In Age Of Donald Trump

Early signs are that the white, educated Republican suburbs are moving toward the Democratic Party in the age of Donald Trump.

If one goes by the elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and now Alabama, that seems the beginning of a trend.

The Democrats need to pursue this, rather than just attack Donald Trump.

They need to emphasize job growth, education, health care, and the dangers to our national security represented by the “bromance” between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, what seems like Russian Collusion.

They need to show that they have a positive program of change, and rally people around the harm to our environment and consumer protection by the Trump Presidency, as well as the harm done with unqualified judicial appointments, and in our diplomacy with other nations.

If the Democrats work to offer alternatives and point out common goals for people of all races, and both genders, they can win the majority in both houses of the Congress, in many state legislatures, and in the gubernatorial races coming up in November 2018.

Magnificent Victory For Doug Jones In Alabama: Its Meaning

Last night’s magnificent victory in Alabama for Doug Jones in the special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the US Senate has so many meanings.

It is a total repudiation of the despicable former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

It is a total repudiation of Donald Trump, who now has lost twice in Alabama, after doing so well in that state in 2016. He lost with Luther Strange and now with Roy Moore.

It is a total repudiation of Steve Bannon, and his continued assault on the “Establishment” in the Republican Party, and is likely to lead to a Democratic House and Senate in the 2018 Midterm Congressional elections.

It is a total repudiation of disgraceful talk show host Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel, who could end up possibly implicated in the Trump Scandals being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

On a positive vein, it demonstrates that the forces of good are there, even in Alabama, as African Americans, Latinos, women, and young people came out and voted in an off year special election at much higher rates than projected.

It is also a tribute to conservative mainstream Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who refused to endorse and support Roy Moore, and told his supporters that he had voted a write in candidate, and that they could do so as well. As it turns out, if all of the write in votes had gone to Moore, it would have been a victory for the combative former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

It was also a sign of just how good and decent Doug Jones was and is, as a prosecutor who, almost 40 years later, was able to gain convictions of Ku Klux Klansmen who killed those four young African American girls in that despicable church bombing in Birmingham in 1963. It was wonderful seeing African Americans on the stage with Jones at his victory celebration, showing the race issue does not have to divide Alabama or America.

It is also a sign of the significance of campaign adviser Joe Trippi, who earlier had worked for Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Jerry Brown, Dick Gephardt, Ted Kennedy, and John Edwards in their various campaigns. What a great adviser Joe Trippi is!

This blogger was emotional about this great victory last night, and more so than even the great victories in New Jersey and particularly Virginia in the November off year elections.

Now it is time to move forward and force Donald Trump, who has divided America in so many hateful ways, to face the punishment he deserves, which is potential impeachment, with moral turpitude to be added to Russian Collusion, Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of Power, and Violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

It is also time for the top people around Trump to show they have courage and to demand he resign or they resign en masse. This includes John Kelly, H. R. McMaster, James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, and Nikki Haley.

The time for the cancer of Donald Trump to be excised has come, and the Democrats must use Trump against the Republicans, if they refuse to take responsibility for the dangers and authoritarianism that he represents.

It is time for the Republicans to put nation over party.

Puerto Rican Migration To Florida In Two Months 200,000, Double Original Estimate: A Harbinger Of Florida Turning “Blue” In Future Presidential Elections

The effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico will change future Presidential elections, with the Democratic Party winning the state in future contests for the White House.

Puerto Rico is losing a substantial portion of its citizenry due to the slow and inadequate response on the island to this natural disaster by the Trump Administration.

Some Puerto Ricans, all of whom are citizens of the US, and can register to vote immediately, have migrated to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, but the vast majority, more than 200,00, double the original estimate, have moved to Florida, preferring warm weather.

Most have settled in Central Florida, in the Orlando and Tampa areas, with the Puerto Rican population having multiplied since the 2010 Census, while a lesser number have moved to South Florida.

As long as these citizens register and vote, the largest number will vote Democratic, and in close races for the White House, that can make a difference, and it could also, over time, affect state elections for Governor and other executive offices, as well as the state legislature.

When Florida becomes reliably “Blue”, it will add 29 electoral votes in the 2020 Presidential election, and more than that once reapportionment of seats based on the 2020 Census, and in time for the 2024 and 2028 Presidential elections.

And when the Hispanic vote of any part of Latin America becomes larger and reliably Democratic, except for Cuban Americans then Georgia, Arizona, and eventually Texas will be “Blue”, and the Republicans are doomed on the Presidential level.

Only by voter suppression and discrimination will the GOP have a chance to win, and one can be sure they will use every imaginable tactic to prevent Hispanic voting, so Democrats have to work incessantly to insure that Hispanics are not denied the right to vote, including law suits to stop this disgraceful tactic of the party that, more than ever, represents the Tea Party mentality.

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!

Democratic Victories In Virginia, New Jersey, And Elsewhere Sign Of Repudiation Of Trump, And Beginning Of Impeachment Move

Yesterday was a glorious day for Democrats across the board.

Ralph Northam won the Virginia Governorship, and the Democrats also won the Lieutenant Governorship and State Attorney Generalship, as as well as switch the control of the House Of Delegates in a massive defeat for Republicans. The Lieutenant Governor is Justin Fairfax, first African American in that position in Virginia history.

A transgender woman in Virginia defeated a rabid homophobe for a seat in the House of Delegates. And the boyfriend of a woman murdered on live television in 2015, ran on the gun issue and won a seat in the House of Delegates in her memory. Two Latinas were also elected to the House of Delegates, as well as a Vietnamese Asian American woman for the first time in Virginia.

New Jersey saw the repudiation of Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor, by Democrat Phil Murphy. And an African American woman was elected Lieutenant Governor.

Maine expanded Medicaid over the objections of right wing bully Republican Governor Paul Le Page.

New Hampshire saw Manchester’s Mayoralty fall to the Democratic nominee.

Minneapolis, Minnesota City Council saw the election of a transgender African American woman.

St. Paul, Minnesota and Helena, Montana elected African Americans to the Mayoralty of both cities, a first for both .

Charlotte, North Carolina Mayoralty went to an African American woman.

Two small cities in Georgia elected an African American woman Mayor, and two African American men won that office, one in a city in Georgia, and one in South Carolina.

Hoboken, New Jersey elected a man of the Sikh religion as its Mayor.

A woman was elected Nassau County, New York (on Long Island) County Executive for the first time, and a rare case of a Democrat winning that position.

The State Senate in Washington State went to a Democratic majority, making the entire Pacific Coast “Blue”, in California, Oregon and Hawaii, along with Washington State.

City Mayors, all Democrats, were reelected in New York City, Boston, and Detroit and a lesbian Mayor elected in Seattle, among other places.

Growing numbers of incumbent Republicans are deciding not to run for reelection, creating more open seats and making likelihood of Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in 2018 much more likely.

Suburban areas across the nation are growing more Democratic on paper, after massive victories all over the nation.

Northern Virginia has become more powerful in numbers and percentage, overcoming southern and western sections of Virginia, making Virginia clearly a Blue State in the future.

With many Republicans now planning to retire, expect more criticism of Donald Trump, and a growing shift toward impeachment of Trump, since retiring politicians have an independence not seen otherwise, so just as John McCain. Jeff Flake. and Bob Corker have come out against Trump, more can be expected in both houses of Congress.

And for many Republicans who remain, they may prefer Mike Pence in the White House when they are running for reelection, and since Trump shows no loyalties to the party which gave him their nomination, why should they feel an obligation to support him through thick and thin?