Newt Gingrich

The Crisis In The Speakership Of The House Of Representatives: Not A Laughing Matter!

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, second in line for the Presidency behind the Vice President of the United States.

Therefore, who is the Speaker of the House is not an idle matter, but of crucial importance, that he or she be a mainstream, responsible public official.

The Republican Party has produced disasters in the Speakership since 1994.

First, we had Newt Gingrich, who had a scandalous private life, and was extremely confrontational in his dealings with President Bill Clinton, and yet, right wing conservatives were unhappy with him, and he resigned after two terms as Speaker, a total of four years.

Then, his theoretical successor, Bob Livingston, was forced to turn down the Speakership, due to his own private life scandals.

Then, Denny Hastert became Speaker, seemed noncontroversial, and in comparison to Gingrich and Livingston, was just that.  But now, years after his decision to leave Congress after the Republicans lost control of the House in 2006, Hastert faces prosecution and is involved in a sex scandal involving when he was a high school wrestling coach 35 years ago.

And then, there was John Boehner, who lasted almost five years, but was under constant attack by the far right Tea Party Movement, and now has decided to resign at the end of October.  Boehner created constant confrontations with Barack Obama, but also, at times, was cordial with limits imposed by his party’s dynamics.

Eric Cantor, who was supposed to be Boehner’s successor, unexpectedly lost his seat in a nomination fight last year, just as he had the chance to become the first Jewish Speaker of the House, and his defeat apparently delayed Boehner’s decision to leave, until now after the Pope has visited the United States, and spoken before the Congress in joint session.  This event brought out the tears so common to Boehner, a devout Catholic.

Now the issue is who should succeed Boehner, two heartbeats away from the Presidency, with new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  of California favored even though he has only been in Congress nine years, has sponsored no important legislation, and never would have been in this position had Eric Cantor not been defeated  last year.

McCarthy seems pleasant enough on a personal basis, actually more than Gingrich, Livingston, Hastert, and now Boehner, but will the right wing Tea Party movement be satisfied with him, and will he be responsible enough to conduct himself with a willingness to work with President Obama for the next year?

What if a true right wing extremist ends up as Speaker, with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a possible successor seen as a true extremist and often compared by many to David Duke, the former KKK leader, due to Scalise’s opposition to a Martin Luther King Holiday in Louisiana, one of the last states to adopt it?

America cannot tolerate a right wing extremist to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it can be hoped that, under the present circumstances, Kevin McCarthy become Speaker, but somehow, although unlikely, hope that disillusionment with the Republican control of Congress leads to Democratic control of the House, as well as the Senate, to occur in the 2016 national elections.

Since the House is gerrymandered, giving the GOP control despite more total popular votes for the chamber being Democratic, this seems unlikely, but those who feel it is urgent that the next Democratic President have both chambers of Congress willing to work with him or her, must work very hard to try to elect a Congress controlled by the Democrats!

Five Years Of “ObamaCare” Successes, And Ted Cruz Is Now Applying To Be Covered!

It has been five years since “ObamaCare” became law, and it has been a massive success in so many ways!

And to top it off, its biggest critic, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the first announced Republican Presidential candidate, despite saying his goal is to repeal “every word” of the legislation, is now going on “ObamaCare” since his wife will be taking a leave of absence from her Wall Street job as he runs for President! This mirrors the complete hypocrisy of Cruz, all Republicans, and the conservative think tanks who have bitterly opposed the law since Day One.

President Barack Obama pointed out this week that “ObamaCare” is the Republican and conservative (Heritage Foundation) plan of 1993, in opposition to Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s more expansive health care plan. Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, the Republican leaders, who became, respectively, the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader after the midterm Congressional elections of 1994, endorsed the plan, and Mitt Romney adopted the basics of it when he brought about “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts in 2006. And yet, he refused to endorse “ObamaCare” despite the many similarities to his own state plan, and claimed it was not designed for national adoption, and only good in his state, total hypocrisy, which marked his constantly shifting and lying Presidential campaign in 2012!

The Affordable Care Act, the official name for “ObamaCare”, has done the following over the past five years:

130 million Americans cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

76 million Americans with private medical plans have received expanded access to free preventative services.

16.4 million Americans have gained health care coverage since the law passed, people who never had such coverage before now.

11.7 million people have signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace Plans in 2015.

9.4 million senior citizens have saved more than $11.5 billion on prescription drug costs since 2010.

5.7 million young adults under 26 have been able to have health care coverage under their parents’ plans.

And now, Ted Cruz and his family can be covered under a plan he has tried to destroy, and is still committed to destroying if he becomes President.

But that is not going to happen, as Ted Cruz is a Joseph McCarthy look alike and as much of a “bomb thrower” as the infamous leader of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s was, and has cost the government and taxpayers a loss of $24 million in the forced government shutdown in late 2011, a totally reckless act!

This man comes across as a total lunatic, and his dad is more extreme than him, the worst example of an nutty right wing Christian evangelical demagogue, who preaches hate and division, rather than the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the fact that Cruz had a captive audience of students at Liberty University, who were forced to attend his Presidential announcement, or be forced to pay $10 to the university, is totally mind boggling!

The true nature of Ted Cruz is shown by his willingness to accept “ObamaCare” while trying to smother it for the past five years, not caring about the health care and lives of millions of Americans!

Right Wing Hate For Barack Obama Far Surpasses Any Criticism Of Any Earlier President!

The right wing hate, led by the Tea Party Movement, for President Barack Obama, has reached the point of no return, and has FAR surpassed any criticism of any earlier President!

Whether it is talk radio, with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and others of their ilk; or Fox News Channel spewing poison and lies consistently; or the right wing think tanks, headed by the Heritage Foundation and others who distort facts and have an agenda to promote an oligarchy; or the super wealthy, such as the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others who are trying to destroy the middle class and promote their own profits at the expense of the entire nation; or the conservative journals of opinion, such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review, which promote their extremist agenda; or the lunatic House members, such as Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Steve King and others; or the right wing extremist Senators, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, newly elected Thom Tillis and Joni Ernst and others; as well as the leadership of many corporations and other special interests—there is a concerted campaign to destroy Barack Obama, with many wishing for his demise, meaning his death by whatever means possible.

Obama is more threatened now than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and in many respects, more than Lincoln, since the population is ten times what it was during the Civil War 150 years ago!

The venom, disrespect, racism, hatred, and accusations against Barack Obama have not had any limits. He has been accused of being a Muslim, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, anti Semitic, a racist against whites, a person who is bisexual, a gay man, an illegal drug abuser, having a mother who was a whore, having a different father who was a black nationalist, and much more.

Obama has been called an Emperor, a King, an abuser of Presidential power, but at the same time, he is weak and wimpy.

Sensible people see Obama as a moderate Republican of twenty to thirty years ago, not at all extreme, as Bruce Bartlett who worked for Ronald Reagan has said, who also says in many ways Obama is a traditional conservative, who has not done what liberals and progressives have wanted him to do.

On issues of human rights, Obama has been more aggressive, such as labor rights, civil rights, and gay and lesbian rights. On issues of importance to the future beyond our own time, he has supported the need for an aggressive policy on environmental protection.

But Obama has pushed a health care plan that the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole backed twenty years ago, giving health care companies control over health care, not exactly radical in nature, although depicted as such.

Obama has been attacked and criticized for every sin and fault imaginable, including wearing a tan suit; going on vacation (actually less than any recent President); using a veto power that he has only used twice; using executive orders less than any recent President; being unwilling to engage us in more wars and interventions, etc.

Through all the personal and policy attacks, Obama has always acted with dignity and calm, annoying the hell out of his critics, who want him to be the “angry black man”, and the leaders of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, give him no respect at all.

And now, the idea is being suggested by the despicable editor Richard Lowry of the National Review, that John Boehner decide not to invite the President to give his State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress!

Go ahead, right wingers, do exactly that, and the President will speak instead from the Oval Office, and will win public opinion, and show once and for all what the right wing nuts represent! If he chooses to denounce, finally, his right wing critics, who have gone beyond the pale in so many ways, it will boost his public opinion rating, just as Bill Clinton’s ratings went up after the impeachment effort against him in 1998-1999!

Expect that Obama will face impeachment by this right wing crowd, but he will come out shining as a result, and will not be removed from office. All it will do is show the Republican Party and the right wing for what they are–despicable hate mongers who will stop at nothing to destroy the 44th President of the United States!

The greatest fear is not impeachment, or not being invited to speak before a joint session of Congress, but the dangers against his life that Barack Obama faces every day, encouraged on in spirit, if not in direct statements publicly, by the opposition, which, again, is more hateful and vehement than any time since at least the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln!

Barack Obama: Who Is Our 44th President?

The attacks on Barack Obama, our 44th President, have reached a point of being totally ridiculous and preposterous in so many ways!

Critics say Obama is a Muslim, even though he never attended services at a mosque, and has called himself a Christian. Meanwhile, he has had America war against terrorist Muslims, and has used drones and troops to kill more Muslims than George W. Bush, including Osama Bin Laden!

Critics say Obama is a weak President, who has been unwilling to confront Vladamir Putin and defend Ukraine, while George W. Bush did not confront Putin on military action in Georgia in 2008; Lyndon B. Johnson did not confront the old Soviet Union on military action in Czechoslovakia in 1968; and Dwight D. Eisenhower did not confront the old Soviet Union on military action in Hungary in 1956.

Critics say that Obama is an “Emperor” or “King” because of action on immigration reform, but this is the same President they have said is “weak”, and when Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and all of the other Republican and Democratic Presidents since Dwight D. Eisenhower took action on immigration, none of them were called “Emperor” or “King”. So Obama is a “weak” President who is also an “Emperor” or “King”?

Critics say Obama is a Socialist, but Obama accepted the Newt Gingrich–Bob Dole–Heritage Foundation–Mitt Romney concept of health care, when he pushed for “ObamaCare”, which gives private insurance companies full control over health care when many Democrats and liberals and progressives really want “Medicare for all”.

Critics say Obama is anti capitalist, but Obama has tied himself to Wall Street much more than many Democrats and liberals and progressives wish he had, and the stock market is at an all time high, up about 250 percent from when he came in.

Critics say Obama is adding more to the national debt than anyone, forgetting he came in at the lowest point in 75 years, and that much of the new debt was an outgrowth of the disastrous George W. Bush economic policies that would have added the same to the national debt if John McCain and Mitt Romney had been elected President.

Critics say that Obama refused to work with the opposition party, but NO President EVER had such obstructionism as Barack Obama has had, and Republican Presidents, in particular, have found that opposition Democrats, while challenging them, NEVER promoted total lack of cooperation as the extremist right wing Republicans, led by the Tea Party Movement, have done over the past six years. Despite that, Obama has presided over a long list of accomplishments.

Critics blame Obama for the loss of seats in Congress in midterm elections, when ALL Presidents have faced that, except Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. Harry Truman in 1946, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, Bill Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2006, and now, Barack Obama in 2014, have seen the opposition party gain control of both houses of Congress. Also, FDR in 1938, Truman in 1950, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, John F. Kennedy in 1962, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, Richard Nixon in 1970, Gerald Ford in 1974, Jimmy Carter in 1978, Ronald Reagan in 1982, George H. W. Bush in 1990, and Barack Obama in 2010 lost seats, and in the case of Obama, control of the House of Representatives.

These are just eight ways in which the critics of Obama are manipulating the truth and the facts, and despite all these attacks, Barack Obama stands tall and will look much better in history than his critics wish to concede!

Imagine A Presidential Election Battle Without Any Previous Candidates In The Race!

The thought has crossed this blogger’s mind what it would be like if for once, just once, no one who had previously competed for the Presidential nomination of either party, nor had been a Vice Presidential running mate, became involved in the upcoming Presidential Election campaign of 2016.

Think of who would be eliminated from consideration:

Democrats (8)–Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore, Jerry Brown, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich

Republicans (11)–Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, John Kasich

Who would be left to compete?

Democrats (13)–Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner, Corey Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Jay Nixon, John Hickenlooper, Brian Schweitzer, Deval Patrick, Rahm Emanuel

Republicans (13)–Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Peter King, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Scott Walker, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley

One can wonder who would be competitive for the Presidential nominations, and who would galvanize support among the population and go on to be the nominees of the two major political parties!

We would have a true “donnybrook” situation, with anyone having the potential to be the nominees, “catch fire”, and go on to be the 45th President of the United States!

If this author was to venture an educated guess, one would come to the following conclusions:

Democrats–The major battle would be among Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O’Malley and Mark Warner.

Republicans–The major battle would be among Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence and Rob Portman.

The final battle would be between Warren and O’Malley for the Democratic nomination, and between Marco Rubio and Mike Pence for the Republican nomination.

The two finalists would be Martin O’Malley and Marco Rubio, with O’Malley being the winner and the 45th President of the United States!

This is due to the reality of the Electoral College, which strongly favors the Democrats to win the White House in 2016 and beyond, as the Northeast, New England, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast are strongly “Blue”, and most of the “swing states” are favored to go “Blue” as well, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.

Florida and North Carolina would be more difficult for the Democrats, particularly if Rubio is the GOP nominee, but the electoral vote would still be heavily Democratic, even without those two states!

If Once You Do Not Succeed, Try, Try Again—Republican Mantra For Presidency

Historically, Republicans who have sought the Presidency have discovered that the first try does not work, and that the old saying–“If once you do not succeed, try, try again!”–applies.

Such is the case in the past 50 years with:

Richard Nixon, 1960 and 1968
Ronald Reagan 1968 and 1976, 1980
George H. W. Bush 1980 and 1988
Bob Dole 1980 and 1988, 1996
John McCain 2000 and 2008
Mitt Romney 2008 and 2012

So such potential candidates as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Jon Huntsman all have history on their side, although it is unlikely to be of much help in their favor, except, possibly for Jon Huntsman, the only “mainstream” candidate of the group!

Four Years Of ObamaCare: Over 5 Million SIgned Up, And Now Irreversible Law!

It is now four years since ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, became law, and over 5 million people have signed up since October 1 of last year, despite the flawed beginnings of the website.

ObamaCare is here to stay, but will certainly need adjustments and tweaking as it grows further, just like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicare Part D needed to make such changes.

The Republican Party has attempted to end ObamaCare by over 50 votes in the House of Representatives, but it has been for naught, since the Senate is presently Democratic.

But even if the Republicans were to win the Senate and keep the House in the 2014 midterm elections, ObamaCare will not end, as President Obama has the power of the veto, and there is no chance that a two thirds override of a Presidential veto could ever occur.

So the GOP is looking ahead to their vision of winning both houses of Congress AND the Presidency in 2016, but their chances of that occurring are miniscule to zero, as ONLY if they were to nominate Jon Huntsman, would there be even a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or any other Democrat, with the Electoral College heavily tilted in favor of the Democratic nominee, with the Republicans refusing to change their tune in their attitudes towards women, Latinos, African Americans, labor, the poor, the young, and the elderly.

The GOP is self destructive, and to imagine that they would be willing to repeal all aspects of ObamaCare, taking away health care from millions, and denying senior citizens the closing of the “donut hole” on prescriptions; the end of children being covered under their parents’ plans until age 26; the end of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and no more lifetime coverage; and many other benefits that have already helped many people who never had health care coverage before ObamaCare, is truly a sign that they do not give a damn about the health of the American people.

This is particularly so with the fact that ObamaCare is far less advanced than Hillary Care was in the 1990s, when Republicans fought it and defeated it in 1994, with the Heritage Foundation–Bob Dole-Newt Gingrich Republican plan which, in many details, became RomneyCare in Massachusetts in 2006, and then was suddenly no longer acceptable once Barack Obama moved to adopt it as a compromise from the concept of Medicare For All or the “public option”, both more “radical”, while ObamaCare allows private health care companies to control the market place.

The GOP has lost all credibility, and in the long run, if not the short run, when the American people finally “get it”, what that party is doing, they will suffer electorally in a massive way!

Senator Rand Paul, Bill Clinton, And Hillary Clinton

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a clear contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, has decided to go the route of attacking Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton through her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Yesterday, on MEET THE PRESS, Paul brought up the sex scandal of the 42nd President sixteen years ago, reviving memory of Monica Lewinsky, and the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

No one is trying to defend Bill Clinton on his reprehensible, disgraceful, and potentially dangerous behavior, as if Monica Lewinsky had been a spy or connected to Organized Crime, which thankfully she was not, it could have been a danger to America’s national security. One cannot forget that President John F. Kennedy WAS involved with a Mafia woman, Judith Campbell Exner, a terrible gamble and dangerous action in the time of the Cold War and the battle against Organized Crime being key issues in American politics.

So it is not as if any ethical person was not shocked by Clinton’s misbehavior, and this author condemned the whole situation at that time. But the Republicans acted holier than thou, at a time when Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Bob Livingston and other Congressional Republicans were engaged in sexual affairs outside of marriage themselves! What hypocrisy on a grand scale! Do not forget that the Republicans moved to impeach Clinton, and that his future obituary will always include the scandal and the impeachment in an early paragraph. But the impeachment was not justified, and the GOP failed to remove Clinton, and they suffered in public opinion, and Clinton’s popularity soared, and remains extremely high after 16 years since those events!

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton chose to stay in her marriage, which is her business, and went on to a distinguished career in the US Senate and as Secretary of State, and she deserves to be judged on her own accomplishments, not the shortcomings of her husband!

This tactic of Rand Paul will backfire in a major way, and he needs to “get a life”, and spend less time attacking Bill Clinton, and more time trying to justify why a person who came to office on the back of his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and has done nothing positive in three years, except to embarrass himself and make one wonder how he became an eye specialist, although not certified by the national organization, seems to think that he is qualified to be President of the United States!

The Total Hypocrisy Of Republican Politicians!

The Republican Party and the conservative movement love to pontificate about morality and ethics, and yet are the biggest hypocrites that exist!

So we have the late Congressman Bill Young of Florida, who left his wife of 36 years in 1985 for his secretary, and totally ignored his children from that first wife, and they were even denied allowance to come to his funeral, after he died last year, after 42 years as a senior “Family Values” Republican in the House of Representatives.

So we had House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde of Illinois, who led the impeachment move against President Bill Clinton in 1998-1999, who it was shown he had a child with another woman while condemning Bill Clinton for his sexual exploits.

So we had Congressman Bob Livingston of Louisiana, who was supposed to be Speaker of the House in 1999, after Newt Gingrich left, but was also shown to have had children and relationships outside of his marriage.

And of course, Newt Gingrich, the most obvious hypocrite of all, had spent his years in Congress, cheating on his wife, serving her with divorce papers while undergoing cancer surgery, married the woman he had the affair with at that time in the late 1990s, and then divorced her, after having an affair with wife number three, the blond bimbo who accompanied him on his Presidential run in 2012. Gingrich has no shame, never has, and was condemning Bill Clinton while doing the same thing, but acting puritanical.

There are so many other examples, including gay members of the Republican Party, such as Ken Mehlman, Republican National Chairman under George W. Bush, who finally “came out of the closet” after doing great damage to gays and lesbians; former Congressman David Dreier of California; Senator Larry Craig of Idaho; and most recently, Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois, all of whom have done everything to harm and limit gay rights, while all being clearly gay men.

The lying and deceit of these GOP Politicians past and present, in the midst of condemning others for what they do, is beyond normal condemnation. It is worse than committing the acts that others do, and being “holier than thou”, and this includes evangelical pastors who are corrupt, and Catholic priests who are corrupt, but are only too willing to condemn the behavior of others who conduct their lives in the same fashion.

So the Republican party and the conservative movement are NOT the paragon of virtue. and NOT good role models for “Family Values”!

15th Anniversary Of Bill Clinton Impeachment By The Republican House Of Representatives

Fifteen years ago today, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican House Of Representatives on flimsy grounds, and well knowing that there was no possibility of Clinton being removed from office in his impeachment trial in the US Senate.

The major issue was Clinton’s illicit sexual tryst with Monica Lewinsky, but as reprehensible as that was, it was not an impeachable act, a high crime or misdemeanor, and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Majority Leader Bob Livingston, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde were guilty of the same reprehensible behavior.

Clinton survived the impeachment trial, and has recovered very nicely in public opinion ever since, really the most popular former President in modern times while still alive and kicking.

His wife, Hillary Clinton, has had a distinguished career in the Senate and State Department, and is for now the frontrunner for the Presidency in 2016, even if one can see faults and issues in her record, which is par for the course for any Presidential candidate.

Bill Clinton has devoted his life to good deeds through the Clinton Initiative and Clinton Foundation, and like Jimmy Carter, has devoted his post Presidency to commitment to social justice.

Impeachment was a major mistake, and yet now the Republicans in the House are threatening to impeach President Barack Obama, although he has done nothing to deserve such action, and were he to be impeached, again he would not be removed, but it is all based on vindictiveness and hate.