North Dakota

The Year Of Democratic Women On The Ballot Coming In 2018: Ten Incumbents And Two Seeking Election To The US Senate

In the midterm Congressional elections of 2018, a total of 12 Democratic women will be on the ballot for the US Senate, with 10 coming up for reelection and two making major challenges against Republicans in Arizona and Nevada.

Altogether, there are 16 Democratic women in the US Senate in 2017, so all but six are facing reelection battles.

This includes women in Trump won states—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.

Additionally, in Hillary Clinton won states, the following Democratic women are up for reelection–Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, Diane Feinstein in California, Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, Maria Cantwell in Washington State, and Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota.

Jacky Rosen is competing for the Nevada Senate seat against most endangered Republican Senator Dean Heller, and Kyrsten Sinema is trying to win the Senate seat of Jeff Flake, who is not running for reelection in Arizona.

The odds for both Rosen and Sinema are seen as good, and could tip the balance of the US Senate, but only if the other women, particularly in Trump won states, are able to overcome their disadvantage.

Therefore, while all of the Democratic women except Heidi Heitkamp are backed by the pro choice Emily’s List organization, it is important NOT to have a litmus test for Heitkamp, who while supportive of Trump about 51 percent of the time, still supports many Democratic Party goals, although she is not truly pro choice on abortion. If we want purity, then the Senate will be lost, as such a Senator as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also running for reelection, is not any more pro choice than Heitkamp. The party needs to be more inclusive if it is to win and keep control of the US Senate in the future.

Eight Republican Senators Possible Votes Against House Passed “Health Care” Bill, So Highly Unlikely That “TrumpCare” Will Become Law!

Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Senator Dean Heller of Nevada

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

Senator John McCain of Arizona

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

These are the 8 Republican Senators who are seen as likely to vote against the House passed excuse for a “Health Care” bill, making it highly unlikely that “TrumpCare” will become law!

Collins and Murkowski do not want Planned Parenthood defunded, and want to protect Medicaid patients in their states, both states with many poor people.

Heller faces a very tough race for reelection in Nevada, as does Flake in Arizona, and both have a very large senior citizen constituency in their Western states.

McCain, despite his often inconsistent statements and actions, is basically a moderate, certainly as compared to the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate and in Congress.

Capito comes from one of the poorest states of all, West Virginia, and many poor, disabled (such as coal miners), and senior citizens would be harmed by the GOP passed House bill.

Corker is one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and seems very cautious as to accepting such a radical bill as the House passed.

Portman also comes across as one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and Ohio is the state of Governor John Kasich, who extended Medicaid, and it is hard to imagine that Portman would wish to harm his state’s disabled, senior citizens and poor, in a state which went for Trump, not realizing that the President would not give a damn about those on Medicaid, and those who were willing to support him with no good reason to do so, except being ignorant of reality about what right wing Republicans would do to destroy the good parts of ObamaCare.

It is hard to imagine that ANY Democratic Senator, not even Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, or Jon Tester of Montanan would support any major change in the Affordable Care Act!

So do NOT expect any kind of legislation anywhere near what the House Freedom Caucus, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price want, and expect that the American people will react in 2018 by a Democratic takeover of the House, including a move toward impeachment of the most despicable President in American history, bar none, Donald Trump!

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

Flint, Michigan And Standing Rock Sioux Of North Dakota: Message Is That African Americans And Native Americans’ Drinking Water Supply NOT Important!

Conservatives and Republicans, and many white citizens, love to say there is no racism in America, and yet we have constant evidence of racism, and not caring about the health, safety, and basic rights of various racial and ethnic minorities.

Flint, Michigan and its water crisis has been ignored by the state of Michigan and its Governor, Rick Snyder, who should be forced out of office, and tried and convicted for causing the poisoning of the water supply. The reason so little has been done is because the city is poor, and much of its population is African American.

And now the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota is seeing the danger of its water supply being poisoned, and its ancestral lands being taken away from them, by the power of rich whites and the oil industry, including investments by the President Elect Donald Trump himself! The Dakota Access Pipeline is being forced on the area in North Dakota and nearby states without any regard to the rights of native Americans under treaties, and the law enforcement authorities have been abusive toward demonstrators and protestors, including hosing them down in frigid weather, and ordering them off the occupied land near where the pipeline is being planned.

The Army Corp of Engineers and President Barack Obama have shown sympathy to the Standing Rock Sioux, but the state government of North Dakota and its political leadership, including the despicable Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, is showing no concern about the rights of the tribe to have their land protected, as well as their water supply.

A confrontation is coming, and interestingly, thousands of veterans are said to be on the way to North Dakota this weekend, and it seems as if real bloodshed and violence may be coming, as these veterans are, heroically, ready to defend the tribe and its rights.

Our nation has continued its racist history toward both African Americans and Native Americans, but also historically toward Latinos, Asian Americans, Jews, and Catholics over the long haul of American history, and now the future President will, by his own words and actions, further promote dishonor, illegality, and lack of ethics and morality toward these groups.

In the second decade of the 21st century, it is time to call for widespread protest against these outrageous actions!

“Super Delegates” And “Unbound Delegates”—The Politics Of Presidential Nominations!

With all of the Presidential primaries and caucuses, it turns out that “Super Delegates” in the Democratic Party, and “Unbound Delegates” in the Republican Party could overrule all of the election results in the two major parties!

“Super Delegates” are several hundred delegates, who are party officers and elected members of Congress and in the state governments, and right now, it is clear that the vast majority favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

“Unbound Delegates” are about 200 delegates in a few states, including North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, that under Republican state party rules, can go to the convention unbound, no matter what the state voters in those states have voted, and they are enough, along with “Marco Rubio” delegates, to create the possibility of preventing Donald Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates, the majority needed for nomination.

The problem with these different kinds of delegates is they can cause total disillusionment in voters who feel their vote has meant nothing, and that the “Establishment” in both parties is working to undermine the revolt against them, led by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

One thing is clear: Both parties and their conventions will be far from boring this summer in Cleveland for the Republicans and Philadelphia for the Democrats!

Small States’ (One House Member And Two Senators) Influence In Congress Since 1945

There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!  In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.

The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!

But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.

So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.

But look at their influence:

Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,  who  was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.  Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.

Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.  He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.

Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.  Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 as  a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.

Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.  Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.

And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).

So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!

It Has Finally Happened: Florida Surpasses New York To Become Number Three State In Population!

What has been predicted for a few years has finally happened! The Census Bureau announced new population figures yesterday,

Florida, the Sunshine State, has finally surpassed New York as the number three state in population!

Florida in July 2014 had 19.9 million residents to New York’s 19.7 million people, behind California with 38.8 million and Texas with 27 million.

Overall, the population of the nation increased to about 319 million.

803 residents are being added daily to Florida, while six states–Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont—actually lost population.

The top ten states in growth were all Sunbelt states, except for North Dakota, gaining population because of the oil boom in that state.

2.4 million people were added to the population from the previous year.

The power of the Sun Belt continues to grow, while the top four states now have a combined population of 105.4 million, about one third of the entire nation!

This means that the top four states with one third of the people have only eight Senators, while the remaining 46 states have the other 92 Senators, an extremely undemocratic situation, something that the Founding Fathers could not have imagined when they created the Constitution and set up the US Senate as a government institution!

Women In Congress And State Governorships

With the celebration of Women’s Equality Day yesterday, it is worth attention to point out statistics on women office holders in the history of America.

There have been 298 women House members, starting with Jeanette Rankin of Montana in 1917. There are 82 women House members in the present, with 62 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

There have been 44 women Senators, starting with Hattie Caraway of Arkansas in 1931, after Rebecca Felton of Georgia served for just one day in 1922. Twenty women serve as Senator in the present, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

There have been 36 woman Governors, starting with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming in 1927. Five women serve as Governor in the present, four Republicans and one Democrat.

Every state has elected women to the House of Representatives except Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota, but the last two states have elected women to the US Senate.

Barack Obama Becomes Fourth Sitting President To Visit Indian Reservation!

President Barack Obama yesterday became the fourth sitting President to visit an Indian reservation, an acknowledgement of his respect and concern for the plight of native Americans, who remain the most oppressed minority group in America.

Earlier Presidents to visit Indian reservations while in office were Calvin Coolidge, who visited the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota in 1927; Franklin D. Roosevelt, who visited the Cherokee nation in North Carolina in 1936; and Bill Clinton, who visited the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota in 1999.

Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation in North Dakota. Obama has taken more action on Native American issues than any President, including:

Hosting a Tribal Nations Conference annually at the White House

Used Executive Orders on American Indian and Native Alaskan Education improvements

Launched a campaign against childhood obesity on Indian reservations

Signed the Tribal Law and Order Act to give more law enforcement authority to tribal law enforcement authorities

Reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act to allow prosecution of non native Americans who assault native American women on the reservations

Promoted disaster assistance by direct application of native American tribes

Allowed health care coverage under ObamaCare to the tribal reservations

Obama has shown an in depth awareness of the issues facing native Americans, and a willingness to do more than make a speech!

The tribe that Obama is visiting, sadly, has 79 percent unemployment, and a myriad of economic, social, and educational issues, including high child mortality, suicide, and dropout rates.

So much more needs to be done for native Americans, and at least, a good start has been made by Barack Obama!

Paul Ryan Self Destructs Any Chance To Run For President!

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who this blogger spent a lot of time working to undermine his Vice Presidential candidacy in 2012, and got blasted for it by right wing websites and bloggers, has again shown further evidence of what a terrible choice Mitt Romney made in his Presidential race, in selecting Ryan to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency!

Ryan, who knows nothing about budgets, except that the poor, the elderly, the disabled, veterans, and the young should see cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other social programs; and there should be no extension of unemployment compensation for desperately unemployed people; and there should be no rise in the minimum wage, now has gone off the “deep end” with his assertion that those who live in the “inner cities” have no sense of the importance of work, and have not worked for generations!

This is a direct and racist assault on African Americans in particular, but also on Hispanics and Latinos, who are a majority of the poor in the urban areas of our nation.

But Ryan acts as if it is only minorities who are poor, and are unemployed, and in some cases, have not worked in a long time. From this statement, one would think that whites are not poor, that they all work, that they all have a heritage of understanding the point of work, and nothing could be further from the truth!

It is a fact, and always has been, that the vast majority of the poor do not live in cities, and are not minorities, although one would think so from a stereotype!

The fact is that there are millions of whites who live in the rural and suburban areas of the nation, and many are them do not work, have no hope of work, and live in depressed conditions often worse than urban slums. Many of these people are living in “Red” states, where Republicans vote to hurt their own constituents, while making it seem as if only minorities do not work, or have no work ethic. They live in Appalachia, the Great Plains, the Rockies, in comparatively sparsely populated areas, as compared to the urban areas on the East and West Coasts.

More whites receive food stamps, and the level of poverty percentage wise is higher in such places as Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska.

It is the lack of education; the tendency to have large families which are also dysfunctional; the reality of drugs and alcohol; the refusal of these state governments to give a damn about their white poor, along with minority poor; and the tendency to turn poor whites against poor minorities so that the GOP can keep power in the House and in the state legislatures, which is destroying generation after generation of deprived people of all races!

Only when there is a REAL war on poverty, instead of exploiting the issue based upon race, as Paul Ryan has now done, will we ever be able to guarantee a good future for millions of whites, as well as African Americans and Latinos!

And Paul Ryan, your potential Presidential candidacy is dead in the water, and while you might run, you have forfeited any realistic chance to be President of the United States, but that was clear, anyway, in 2012!