North Carolina

Donald Trump And Hurricanes: Hurricane Maria In Puerto Rico, And Hurricane Florence Now Menacing The Carolinas And Virginia

Donald Trump has presided over the worst hurricane disaster in American history, with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, leading to 3,000 deaths, the same as the attack on Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.

He has the gall and the lack of empathy to claim a “great success”, and it is clear Trump is totally delusional, and criminal in his lack of taking responsibility for the disaster that could have been handled better by the Federal Emergency Management Agency,

And now, just in advance of hurricane season, and the menacing Hurricane Florence about to assault North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, in what some think could be the worst hurricane in memory, it has been revealed that $10 million has been transferred to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to arrange for more detentions of immigrants than already has occurred, marking the greatest such detention facilities since the Japanese Americans in World War II.

It is a criminal act to promote continued and expanded detention, and it is also criminal to take funds out of FEMA as we face another hurricane disaster season.

There has to be, eventually, full accountability for these crimes for top officials in the Trump Administration, and if the nation cannot protect its own citizens from harm from natural disasters, then how can they protect us from harm from a foreign foe, from terrorism?

That is the number one question to ask of the Trump Administration, which is proving to be more incompetent on hurricanes than even George W. Bush on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005.

The Dozen Most “Trumpian” Members Of Congress: Traitors To Democracy And The Rule Of Law

It is well known by now that the Republican Party as a party in Congress is guilty of cooperating with a President who is moving toward authoritarianism and dictatorship with their support and endorsement, if by nothing else than collaboration and lack of spine to speak up, and even endanger their seats.

But the party cares more about the perks of office, and in enriching the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, working class, and the poor.

They have no compassion, no empathy, no concern about the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, or protection of the Bill of Rights.

They are a party condemned which deserves to be dissolved.

But there are a dozen Republican officeholders for whom any decent American should have contempt, so here is the list by word and action, or lack of action and speaking out, of the dozen most “Trumpian” members of Congress.

It is particularly disturbing that a number of these dozen names are leaders of the party, or strive to be such.

The leaders include: Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, President Pro Tempore of the Senate until January; Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who is leaving the House in January; and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, and potentially still so if the Senate remains Republican in the 116th Congress of 2019-2020.

These three, with the first two being two and three heartbeats away from the Presidency, have been a total disgrace and embarrassment to the high positions they hold.

Then, we have House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who wants to be Speaker of the House to succeed Paul Ryan, and is seen as being the close “buddy” of the President, and was recorded speaking very loud in 2016 about Russian connections of Trump and other Republicans, until Paul Ryan shushed him, but it happened, and Robert Mueller knows it, and that means McCarthy is involved in Russian collusion, and likely Paul Ryan and other Republicans as well.

Also notable is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who despite his libertarian bull, is constantly bowing to Donald Trump, and he, like his wacky father, retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul, is a disgrace and a fraud.

Then, we have the newly minted Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is already openly racist and nativist in his appeal to the voters of the third largest state in population in America.

Also, we have House Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is an extremist who wants to cut all government down to what it was decades ago, a very dangerous person who has promoted government shutdowns numerous times.

Then, we have indicted and now withdrawing from reelection Congressman Chris Collins of New York, who was the first House member to endorse Donald Trump, and now faces prosecution for “insider trading” on the stock market.

Also, we can add Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, now engaged in a scandal about sexual abuse of college wrestlers decades ago when he was an assistant coach, and wanting to compete with Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House if the Republicans keep control of the chamber. He is Vice Chairman of the reprehensible House Freedom Caucus.

The final three are the youngest Senator at present, including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who is very nasty and vicious in his personality; California Congressman Devin Nunes, who has been the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and has engaged in tactics to prevent an investigation of Trump, and to promote more “dirt” and accusations against Hillary Clinton, and is seen as a collaborator on Russian collusion; and California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has been indicted on corruption involving campaign funds being spent for personal use, and who was the second House member to endorse Donald Trump after Chris Collins.

So we have four Senators and eight House members who are truly the “Trump Traitors”, willing to block action and take steps to undermine American democracy and the rule of law for their own selfish ends.

11 Democrats, Non-Southerners, Who Became Republicans Over The Past Half Century

It is a well known phenomenon that a massive number of Southern Democratic politicians switched to the Republican Party in the years and decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But it would be instructive to trace those Democrats, in their younger days, who were not Southerners, who made the switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Following is a list of the more prominent such examples, numbering eleven.

In the early 1960s, actor Ronald Reagan, who had been a liberal Democrat and union leader in his younger days, became a Republican, influenced by his wife Nancy’s father, and soon was recruited by Southern California businessmen to run for Governor, and that was the beginning of an amazing transformation in views.

Donald Trump originally was a Democrat, and contributed to New York City and State Democrats, became an Independent, then went back to the Democrats, and finally allied himself with the Republican Party in 2011 and after.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, started off as a Democrat, and worked for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, and voted for the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator George McGovern, before becoming an Independent, and then a Republican.

Elizabeth Dole was a Democrat who worked for Lyndon B. Johnson, but later became a Republican in 1975, married Senator Bob Dole, and was a cabinet member twice, sought the Presidential nomination herself, and then was a Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009 as a Republican.

Vice President Mike Pence left the Democratic Party in the early 1980s, after having supported Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential election, and ran for the House of Representatives and Governorship of Indiana as a Republican.

Condoleezza Rice, left the Democratic party in 1982, and became the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush.

Ben (Nighthorse) Campbell left the Democratic Party in 1995, while a US Senator from Colorado, and became a Republican.

Susana Martinez left the Democratic Party in 1995, and later served as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican.

Norm Coleman left the Democratic Party in 1996, while serving as Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and later was a Senator from Minnesota for one term as a Republican.

Herman Badillo, former Bronx, New York Congressman, left the Democrats in 1996, and identified with the Republican Party.

Michael Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2001 before running for Mayor of New York City as a Republican, just as Rudy Giuliani had done before him.

Independence Day 2018: The Greatest Crisis In American History, With Evidence Of Russian Collusion In Our Government

Today is Independence Day, the 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

America has gone through many crises and challenges over those 242 years.

But now we face the reality of what is the greatest crisis in our years of independence, with evidence of Russian collusion in our government, and likely continuing into the future.

This is not a conspiracy theory, but reality, as even the Republican controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, under the leadership of North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr, asserts, with the entire committee unanimous in its conclusion that the intelligence agencies and national security apparatus has been accurate in its assessment.

Donald Trump is clearly a traitor, undermining our democracy and our history of proud independence, and ready to sell America down the river.

And yet his party, with a few exceptions, remains unwilling to face the challenge presented by Donald Trump, and the damage he is doing to our national security, foreign policy, and alliance system with the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has promoted a stable world since the end of World War II.

There are widespread feelings of despair and hopelessness being expressed, including when this blogger gives lectures on public affairs and history to groups all over South Florida.

Many feel the country is being destroyed by a vehement base of ignorant, prejudiced, and clueless people who fail to see the damage that has been done by Donald Trump in the three years since he announced his candidacy.

But the nation and its good majority cannot give up, must resist in every way possible, and restore our democracy and heritage, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a land still affected by the vision of the Founding Fathers in the 18th century!

Could The Equal Rights Amendment Become The 28th Amendment? The 27th Amendment As A Case Study

Lo and Behold!

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, passed through both houses of Congress by wide margins, and then ratified by 35 states between 1972 and 1977, three states short of the three fourths or 38 states needed to ratify, and abandoned after one three year extension from the original seven year plan, in 1982, suddenly has life again!

Nevada’s legislature became state 36 in 2017, and Illinois just became the 37th recently, and now North Carolina is moving ahead on the measure, even though it is 41 years since the original 35 states ratified it, and 46 years since it was passed by both houses of Congress. Also, as a backup, the states of Arizona, Utah, Florida and Virginia are moving in the same direction.

There is precedent for this great delay in the 27th Amendment, suggested in 1789, and only finally ratified by enough states in 1992, mandating that Congress cannot raise its own pay during the same session of Congress that they enact a raise, but only for the succeeding Congress.

If that can happen 203 years after the original enactment, then why not 46 years?

George Will, the conservative ideologue, is bitterly opposed, as he argues progress has been made for women as members of Congress and in society and in law. from what it was in the 1970s.

While that is true, there is still no reason NOT to put women in the Constitution specifically, as the only mention is the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote long after the first push for suffrage at the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

Donald Trump Has Finally Created A Constitutional Crisis With His Threat To Fire Robert Mueller, And Possibly Rod Rosenstein

Here we are on Day 446 of the Trump Presidency, and a direct threat by Donald Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and possibly Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in wake of the FBI seizure of materials from Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen yesterday. It all is due to the Stormy Daniels controversy, but other materials, related to money laundering and Russian collusion, may also have been seized.

Trump has gone totally berserk, and is saying what has happened is a direct attack on the nation, a totally preposterous concept! And this state of mind is happening as the crisis over Syrian use of chemical weapons is on the front burner, and could lead to direct confrontation between Trump and Vladimir Putin of Russia, and cause a direct military response that could escalate, the most dangerous moment so far in the Trump Presidency.

To have a President who is so mentally unbalanced, and grasping for absolute power, preventing a full investigation of the crimes and lawlessness by himself and his underlings, and his Cabinet and other appointees, is the most dangerous situation we have been in since the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

But the potential for the crisis to be as serious as the Cuban Missile Crisis under John F. Kennedy is also possible.

And even when Richard Nixon was under fire for Watergate, he still had a steady hand in foreign policy, because he was an expert in that area.

And John F. Kennedy had a steady hand in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But Donald Trump is clearly incapable of a steady hand, and he is a true danger to American democracy and the Bill of Rights, and he MUST be prevented from ending the Robert Mueller investigation NOW!

And it is time for the Republican Party in Congress to forget party, and do the right thing in protecting the Mueller investigation, as advocated by North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis, and Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons.

One gets the feeling that Trump’s time in office may be nearing an end soon, and Vice President Mike Pence needs to put the nation ahead of the President, and work to undermine him NOW!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Census Should NOT Have Citizenship Question, A Plot To Harm Major States And Under Count Population, Affecting Millions Of People

Donald Trump is trying to cause a lower census count, with his move to require a citizenship question on the 2020 Census for all people to answer.

In the past, much of the time, there was no citizenship question at all, and when it existed, it was only for the small percentage of people who were asked to fill out a long form, not s short form.

The whole purpose is to scare and frighten undocumented immigrants, who will be concerned about arrest and deportation, and prevent them from filling out the forms.

That will cause an under count in California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Georgia, North Carolina and other states, and cut available services and funding, since that is based on actual count of population, not estimates.

It is a particular strike against California, which probably has the most undocumented immigrants, and is strongly anti Trump.

17 states have started a law suit to prevent this horrible, discriminatory plan.

The Founding Fathers did not declare a census should only count citizens, but rather all people living in the boundaries of the nation.

This is an assault on common decency and dignity of all people, including the DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) children who are here for decades now, through no action on their own, and who still are not protected from deportation to nations they have no memory of or association with.

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.

Historic Number Of Women In US Senate Tomorrow When Tina Smith Of Minnesota Replaces Al Franken

Tomorrow, January 3, 2018, will mark an all time record of the number of women who have served in the US Senate.

When Tina Smith is sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, she will be the 51st woman to serve in the US Senate, and the 22nd presently to serve in that august body.

Tina Smith will replace Al Franken from Minnesota in the Senate, and this will be the first time that four states have had two women Senators representing them at the same time—California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Washington, with all eight women being Democrats.

17 of the 22 Senators on January 3 are Democrats, and 5 are Republicans.

17 of the total of 51 will have been Republicans, and 34 will have been Democrats.

18 states are presently represented by women Senators, and 29 have had women Senators historically.

North Carolina and New Hampshire have had a woman Senator succeeded by a woman of the other party, and had both parties represented by their women Senators concurrently in the case of New Hampshire.

The following 5 states have had 3 women Senators in history—California, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.

The following 11 states have had 2 women Senators in history—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington.

The following 13 states have had 1 woman in the Senate—Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

11 of the total of 51 have served by appointment or had brief terms, with Tina Smith having the upper hand to keep the Minnesota seat since she was Lieutenant Governor when chosen to hold the seat for a year, facing an election in 2018.

The likelihood is that we will see more women in the Senate in the next few years, with several women competing for Senate seats in a number of states, and with Democrats still greatly outweighing Republicans in the Senate by a ratio of more than 3-1.

Additionally, we are likely to have four women Senators, all Democrats, seek the Presidential nomination in 2020, an all time record if that occurs. This would include Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kamala Harris of California, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.