New Orleans

The Miracle Of Andrew Gillum, The Democratic Nominee For Governor In Florida

Today has been a glorious day, one of the best this author has experienced in a long time.

What seemed impossible happened, as Andrew Gillum, the African American Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida (the state capitol), overcame the disadvantages of no money, no winning of any polls, no advertising to speak of. He triumphed over four other candidates, all with tons of money, and polls and advertising on a large scale.

So now we have three African American candidates for Governor, with Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Ben Jealous in Maryland, along with Andrew Gillum.

Gillum was an unknown, and this author did not vote for him, assuming he had no chance to win, but now that he has won, this author is thrilled beyond belief, and ready to help Andrew Gillum win and bring a Democratic government on the executive level to the Sunshine State, the third largest behind California and Texas.

Andrew Gillum is educated, intelligent, a great orator, with great charisma and presence, a sense of humor, exudes confidence and has had executive experience, and displays a humility that is very appealing.

Gillum is someone to take seriously, as since independents could not vote in Florida for either party’s nomination, the potential for a “blue wave” is there, with not only independents, but also moderates in the Republican Party who are unhappy with the Donald Trump led Republican Party and its candidate, a nasty, mean spirited, arrogant three term Congressman, Ron DeSantis, who already the day after the primary, is using the word “monkey”, appealing to white supremacy and white racists.

Additionally, the fact that Gillum is only 39 will appeal to African Americans, young people, educated suburbanites, and the growing Puerto Rican population after Hurricane Irma, and with them being citizens of the US, and able to vote against Trump, who was shameful in his treatment of the hurricane disaster on that island. Now we are learning that 2,975 died in Puerto Rico, 60 percent higher than died in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

To make the situation even more impressive, the Attorney General nominee for the Democrats is also an African American, Sean Shaw, and the candidate for State Agricultural Commissioner is Nikki Fried, who is Jewish. So we have a truly diverse ticket, and all this should help Senator Bill Nelson hold off Governor Rick Scott, who is spending three times what Nelson is able to raise, for his campaign.

But the belief is that Gillum, Shaw, and Fried could carry Nelson on their backs, and lead to an all Democratic victory in Florida in November.

Donald Trump Rejects The Paris Climate Deal, A Tragedy Long Term For America And The World!

Donald Trump has just done the most disastrous long term action so far in his Presidency. by rejecting the Paris Climate Deal!

His own daughter, Ivanka, could not get through to him, and neither could Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; thousands of climate scientists; and hundreds of corporations, including Shell Oil and Exxon Oil, where Tillerson was once its leader.

It is a smack in the face to the entire world, with 195 countries having agreed to it, and only Syria and Nicaragua not taking part, and in the case of Nicaragua, they rejected the deal as too weak and wanted a stronger deal. So only a nation in the midst of a long civil war has refused to cooperate, as millions are dying, being wounded, or fleeing for their lives in that tragic war in Syria.

Trump is rejecting science, and allowing Scott Pruitt, his despicable head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and White House Advisor Stephen Bannon, to control his decision.

Trump will be condemned in history for this dastardly act, and his super nationalistic view reeks of Fascism, and it must be bitterly opposed by marches and demonstrations, and the push to defeat every Republican in Congress who supports what Trump has done.

Trump is showing no concern for future generations, and we will see over this century the eventual flooding of such cities as New York City, Boston, Miami, and New Orleans, and his legacy will be that he helped to cause this to occur.

Politicians go to doctors for medical treatment, for their expertise, so why not have politicians leave it to scientists to warn us what we must do to prevent climate change and global warming from destroying the nation and the world?

Imagine if Franklin D. Roosevelt had rejected the advice of Albert Einstein about nuclear weapons in 1939, because after all, one cannot see the atom visually!

America has given up world leadership, and will pay long term for our isolationism, and whatever can be done to reverse this crazy decision legally and politically over the next few years must be done!

How selfish and self serving can a President be? And Trump says the world will laugh at us if we do not rescind the Paris agreement, as the world is taking advantage of us, when in fact, the world is laughing at his stupidity and ignorance precisely because he has made this despicable decision!

The Democratic Presidential Rumor Mill Grows From 18 To 25! But Probably 10 “Serious” Possibilities!

Nine days ago, this blogger published an article, discussing 18 potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

My article was a bit ahead of the media in bringing up the issue, but now the rumor mill has come up with 7 more potential Democratic candidates, making for a total, in theory, of 25!

This is the silly season, right after the First Hundred Days of Donald Trump, and having a list this lengthy does seem a bit ridiculous.

However, for the record, the other 7 names being bandied about are:

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley from 2007 to 2015 and Baltimore Mayor before that from 1999-2007, age 57 in 2020, who this blogger should NOT have left off the original list. O’Malley was once thought of as the “new generation” of leadership, but could not compete against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the rumors that Joe Biden would run. Certainly, he belonged on the original list of 18, making it 19, and has a likely better chance in theory than some on that list.

Entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban, age 62 in 2020, who is very personable and appealing, and could be the “outsider”, equivalent of the Democrats’ Donald Trump, but personally, this blogger is not keen about outside businessmen with no government experience, and Donald Trump just adds to that feeling, that it is not a great idea.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, age 63 in 2020, who leaves office at the end of this year, but was formerly Democratic National Chairman from 2001-2005; Bill Clinton co chair in the 1996 Presidential campaign; and Hillary Clinton chair in the 2008 Presidential campaign, has the disadvantage of being connected to the Clintons, and has an image of being a bit sleazy and crooked throughout his political career, so would not seem a likely choice to get very far in the 2020 Presidential race. If anything, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner seem more likely candidates from Virginia.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, age 60 in 2020, whose sister Mary was a long time US Senator from Louisiana fromJimmy 1997 to 2015, and whose father, Moon Landrieu, was Mayor of the city from 1970-1978, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, has become recently controversial with his decision to remove Confederate monuments in the city, including those of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Being a moderate Southern Democrat might make some think of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but it would seem highly unlikely that he would have much of a shot at the nomination for President.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who would be 49 in 2020, and who is Jewish and also of Mexican heritage as well, and mayor of the second largest city in America in the largest state in America, might possibly be a more serious nominee on paper. Garcetti has long experience in city government, being a member of the LA City Council, and then its President, for nearly a total of 12 years on the Council, and Mayor since 2013. Being a person of urban and multiple ethnic and religious Los Angeles, the most diverse city possible in America, might just be a positive in the long run, and this is a person to watch, in the view of this blogger.

We also have two Massachusetts members of the House of Representatives, Seth Moulton, who would be 42 in 2020; and President John F. Kennedy’s grand nephew, Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson, and former Congressman Joe Kennedy II’s son, Joe Kennedy III, who would be only 40. Moulton has served since 2015 in the House, and Kennedy since 2013, and both have made names for themselves with their liberal views, and both are seen as ambitious rivals, but a bit young to be thinking of running, or be considered at all for the Presidency. Also, only James A. Garfield in 1880 went directly from the House to the Presidency, and then he was tragically killed within months. To believe a House member would be elected is highly unlikely.

In the view of this blogger, one could add O’Malley and Garcetti to the shorter list with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren as the most legitimate candidates.

So I am saying a total of 10 serious candidates is likely, which is certainly long enough—6 US Senators, 3 Governors (assuming Newsom is elected California Governor), and 1 Mayor, LA Mayor Garcetti. The list also includes 2 women, 1 African American, and 1 Jewish and Mexican combination (Garcetti). This is a pretty representative list.

Any commentary by my readers on this and the April 25 article is welcome!

A Dozen Republican Governors Are The Most Horrendous In Memory!

It is amazing how so many people seem to believe that the federal government cannot be trusted, and that the true level of competence is state government–legislatures and governors, when the evidence is that, despite the many problems of the federal government, the state governments in many states is absolutely horrendous.

Both parties have their issues in state governments, but it is Republican governors which are particularly wretched as witness the following governors who have set records for the most incompetent and inhumane leadership:

Michigan–Rick Snyder, who has created a major health crisis in Flint, where the water system is totally lead polluted, and is responsible for the poisoning of many infants and young children, who will suffer effects for the rest of their lives.  For this, Snyder should be removed from office, and should be indicted and convicted and sentenced to life in prison, as effectively, he has destroyed thousands of young lives, through his decision to save money by forcing Flint to use polluted water systems.

Maine–Paul LePage, who has been totally off the wall in his rhetoric, and has displayed racism and other indications of insensitivity on a regular basis for the past five years, and faces a likely move toward impeachment and removal from office.

Kansas–Sam Brownback, who has totally bankrupted his state, and has cut education and health care coverage to dangerous levels  that undermine the state, all to cut taxes for the wealthy, and is a great example of a fake religiously devout leader.

Texas–Greg Abbott, who wants to take Texas back to the Civil War, calling for a constitutional amendment to forbid the federal government from having any influence or power over the states, arguing states rights will better protect the nation.

Florida—Rick Scott, who has refused to accept climate change as having an effect, even though his state is already seeing great evidence of the damage that the Sunshine state faces in the next 20-40 years, and also has done everything possible to undermine the lives of the poor in the state.

Wisconsin–Scott Walker, who has engaged in policies to undermine public workers and to destroy the reputation of the state as one of the most advanced states in the nation, and has also engaged in widespread political corruption on a massive scale.

North Carolina–Pat McCrory, who has managed to turn a progressive Southern state into one of the most backward, regressive states in America, one influenced by the corruption and move for dominance by the Koch Brothers in so many areas  of public policy.

Oklahoma–Mary Fallin, one of the most heartless and nasty state leaders, ignoring the growing number of earthquakes caused by the fracking industry, and totally committed to capital punishment even if there are no appropriate drugs to use for execution.

Louisiana–Bobby Jindal, who lost his Presidential ambitions, but set a record as a totally destructive and  heartless governor toward the poor of his state, and destroyed the public education system of New Orleans entirely.

Indiana–Mike Pence, who has caused a major health crisis over AIDS, by his refusal to address the issue of drug abuse, and has shown unwillingness to deal with the needs of those at the bottom of the economic system.

Arizona—Doug Ducey, who has shown total lack of competence or concern for the large number of Latinos in his state, and has shown evidence of corruption on a level that makes one wish former governor Jan Brewer was still in office, as bad as she actually was.

Kentucky—Matt Bevin, with no government experience, and a Tea Party activist, wishing to destroy the ObamaCare Medicaid system of his state, which was a model for the nation, but now is on the chopping block.

 

35 Years Of CNN!

On this day in 1980, the Cable News Network began, and it is hard to recall the time before cable news, news 24 hours a day, came to be the norm!

CNN, founded by Ted Turner, has undergone a tremendous amount of change, and has been much criticized, but it set the standard for cable news all over America, and was unchallenged, until the emergence of MSNBC and Fox News Channel in 1996.

CNN first became widely popular during the Persian Gulf War; and also gained by its coverage of the O J Simpson Murder Trial; the Bill Clinton Impeachment Trial; the controversial Presidential Election of 2000; the September 11, 2001 attacks of Al Qaeda; the Iraq War; Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; the election of Barack Obama in 2008; and the Boston Marathon Bombing, among many other historic and, often, tragic events.

As much as there is room for vast improvement in news coverage, CNN has contributed a great deal to public discourse and discussion, informing the American people of what they need to know to be good American citizens, and to understand the world we live in!

The End Of The Political Careers Of Several Politicians

Tuesday’s Midterm Elections ended the careers of several well known politicians.

Charlie Crist now has the distinction of losing a Senate race as a Republican in 1998 to Senator Bob Graham; losing a Senate race as an Independent in 2010 to Senator Marco Rubio; and losing a gubernatorial race as a Democrat to Governor Rick Scott!

Scott Brown now has the distinction of losing two Senate races two years apart, both times to women, in two neighboring states in New England–to Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts in 2012 and to Senator Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire in 2014. He also won the remainder of the Senate term of Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts early in 2010 over another woman, Attorney General Martha Coakley, who now also has lost the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts on Tuesday to Republican candidate Charlie Baker in a very “blue” state. As far as anyone is aware, Brown is the only candidate to run against three women for a Senate seat, winning once, and losing twice.

While no one can say for sure that one defeat ends a political career, the fact that Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn lost a race for a Senate seat; and that Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, lost the gubernatorial race in the same state, which is grandfather had won 44 years ago on his road to the White House, likely ends their careers.

The same goes for Senator Mark Udall in Colorado, son of former Congressman and Presidential seeker Morris Udall of Arizona; and for Senator Mark Pryor, son of former Senator David Pryor in Arkansas; and the odds seem against Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, whose father, Nick Begich, was Congressman from that state; and for Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, whose dad and brother were Mayors of New Orleans, although those two races are not settled as of this writing, and Landrieu faces a runoff against a heavily favored Republican rival.

Such is politics, in office one day, and out the next, and the bigger losers are their staff members!

Quinnipiac Poll On Worst President Since WW II Is Sign Of Total Ignorance And Stupidity!

A new Quinnipiac poll for July 4th rates Presidents since World War II, and comes to the asinine conclusion that Barack Obama, engaged in the typical “sixth year” doldrums, is the worst President since 1945!

Really? Give all of us a break! This demonstrates total ignorance and stupidity of American history, and how quickly people forget past Presidents and the records they have in office.

How could Barack Obama be the worst President since 1945, with:

The highest stock market in history, up 150 percent.
Gaining back of all the millions of jobs lost in the Great Recession, plus more jobs created despite GOP obstructionism.
The deficit falling faster than at any time since Eisenhower.
Hunting down and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The capture of the perpetrator of the Benghazi deaths in Libya.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act, giving more Americans health care coverage than at any time in American history.
The passage of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau despite opposition from Wall Street, corporations and Republicans.
The appointment of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
The advancement of environmental protection on the road to the level of Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon and Theodore Roosevelt.
The promotion of the interests of the middle class against the Republican aim to destroy the middle class by lack of action.

Of course, any person could make a list of programs and policies of Barack Obama which have not worked out to their or our satisfaction, including this author.

But come on, compare Obama to George W. Bush:

Two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both causing trillions of dollars in the national debt, and not accomplishing their goals, and the war in Iraq totally unnecessary, a war of choice.
The poor handling of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and Mississippi and Alabama.
The failed Social Security privatization plan, which would have destroyed the program in 2008.
The Great Recession of 2007-2009, worst since the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover.

And if we are to rate the worst Presidents, how about Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who both did so much harm in office, even while admitting certain positives for both?

And to rate Mitt Romney a better choice, 45 percent, to be President now, after the failed campaign of 2012–face the facts, the American people made the right choice in rejecting Romney, arguably the worst candidate of the Republican Party since Barry Goldwater in 1964. This was a man who lied, lied, lied, constantly, more than any Presidential nominee in American history!

The fact that the poll participants showed no real knowledge of American history is troubling, as to come to such a ridiculous conclusion demonstrates total lack of understanding of what has gone on in this nation in recent years! All they react to is charisma, so that Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Bill Clinton rank the highest, simply based on image!

What do these involved in the poll know about Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush, as well as the Presidents that are rated high, and those rated low in the poll? Clearly, NOTHING!

D-Day 70 Years Later: Multiple Events Cross One’s Mind

70 years ago today, the Allied troops of many nations, spearheaded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s directive, stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on what came to be known as D Day, the beginning of the liberation of Europe from Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in World War II. At least 9,000 Americans and many soldiers of many nations died that day, and their sacrifice is commemorated by the cemeteries that hold their remains.

But June 6 has other meanings, more personally as well.

June 6, 1972, was this author’s D Day, meaning the beginning of what has now been a 42 and counting years as a college professor, retired for three years now, but still teaching part time at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

June 6, 2014 is a day in which the author is in New Orleans, planning to visit the World War II Museum this weekend.

Also, today, June 6, 2014, my son David and daughter in law Stephanie are on their honeymoon, and are close to the site of the beach landings at Normandy.

So June 6 means a lot in many ways to this author, and he salutes the troops who gave their lives at Normandy to allow this nation and the civilized world to have basic freedoms and liberties that we celebrate today and every day!

Family Names And Connections Matter In Politics And Will Affect 2014 Senate Races!

Many prognosticators have, seemingly, forgotten the role of family names and connections in politics, and how it will help to affect Senate races in 2014.

Mark Begich in Alaska is the son of a former Congressman.

Mary Landrieu in Louisiana is the daughter and sister of former Mayors of New Orleans.

Mark Pryor in Arkansas is the son of a former Senator.

Michelle Nunn in Georgia is the daughter of a former Senator.

These four races are likely to see Democratic wins, which means the saving of the seats in Alaska, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and the gaining of a seat in Georgia!

The Five Greatest American Tragedies of the Past Half Century!

In the adult life of the author, if one were to judge what the five greatest American tragedies have been, whether man made or natural disasters, they would be the following in ranked order:

1. September 11, 2001–The worst tragedy in American history as 3,000 Americans were killed at the World Trade Center in New York City, along with deaths at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the bringing down of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, preventing the possible attack on and destruction of the US Capitol Building or the White House in Washington, DC by Muslim terrorists.

2. Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 and the days after, which caused the flooding of New Orleans, coastal Mississippi, and the death of more than 1,300 people , with a very slow response by federal, state and local officials.

3. The truck bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995, causing the death of about 168 people, and the wounding of 680 other victims, the greatest terrorist act on American soil until September 11, 2001.

4. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

5. The killing of seven astronauts in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster on January 28, 1986, including the first teacher to go into space, Christa McAuliffe.

This list could be much longer, as we have experienced other disasters, but these five will always be remembered as the top of the list of tragedies!