Philadelphia

On Constitution Day, Reflection On Danger To Our Constitutional Order From Nearly Two Years Of Donald Trump

Today, September 17, is the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Every public school and public university is required, and rightfully, by federal law, to commemorate this path breaking event, and educate the future generation, and indirectly, all of the American people on the significance of what was done by the Founding Father generation.

This year, more than ever, being educated and aware of the the details and meaning of the Constitution is urgent, as America faces a lawless, corrupt President, with the most corrupt group of Cabinet officers we have ever seen in American history.

We are witnessing a wrecking crew, out to destroy the stability of American foreign policy, and to damage the great domestic reforms in so many areas, brought us by many Presidents and Congresses. This is particularly so with those accomplishments internally of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama, the four Presidents who had the most impact of all of our Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt onward, but with other Presidents also being important in their contributions.

The crisis now faced is greater than any since the Civil War, and more of a threat than even Richard Nixon was four and a half decades ago.

It will be through the utilization of the principles of the Constitution that Donald Trump will be removed from office.

June 17 In American History

Today is Father’s Day and the birthday, also, of my oldest son, David, who was born on Father’s Day, a coinciding event that occurs rarely.

But it is also a major historic day in American history in a number of ways.

1775–Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, actually at Breed’s Hill location nearby, second battle of developing American Revolution against Great Britain.

1856–Republican Party opens its first National Convention in Philadelphia.

1885–Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, arrives in New York Harbor, will be installed in 1886.

1932–“Bonus Army” veterans of World War I march on the US Capitol, demanding veterans benefits in midst of Great Depression under President Herbert Hoover.

1954–The end of the Army-McCarthy hearings, which leads to the Senate censure of Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin for his misbehavior.

1972–The Watergate Break In occurs, the beginning of the downfall of Richard Nixon, the most corrupt President until Donald Trump.

2015–Nine African American worshipers at Emmanuel AME Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, are murdered by a 21 year old white racist gunman.

All of these events are tied together–the promotion of freedom, liberty, principle, social justice, civil rights, and the rule of law.

All of these principles are under attack in 2018!

State Politics Much More Complicated Than Often Realized: The Cases Of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California

Anyone who follows American politics historically and contemporarily often seems unaware of the complexity of state politics around the nation.

We hear discussion of “Blue” states and “Red” states, but state politics is much more complicated that that.

Gerrymandering often distorts the reality of political loyalties in many states, and also the reality of about one third of voters being “Independent”, rather than loyal to Democrats or Republicans.

There are many examples of this across the nation, particularly noticeable in larger, more populated states.

Just a few examples:

New York State is often thought to be strongly Democratic, but not true in the state legislature, and New York City is vastly different in political culture from upstate New York areas, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Even Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, often reflect different views than the five boroughs of New York City, and within New York City, Staten Island, is vastly different from Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, with Queens County more balanced than the other boroughs in the city.

Pennsylvania is a state where gerrymandering has given the Republicans until now a great advantage, but new court ordered mandates may change that balance in Congress and the state legislature. Philadelphia has a very different political orientation than western Pennsylvania, often called “Alabama” outside of the city of Pittsburgh.

Virginia is well known to have a very liberal Democratic northern section (often called NoVa), reflecting the influence of being the Washington DC suburbs, while much of the rest of the state is reliably conservative and Republican.

Florida is strongly Democratic in the southern counties, particularly Broward and Palm Beach Counties, with somewhat less so in Miami Dade County due to the influence of Cuban Americans, but even that is diminishing, since it is now 60 years since the rise of Fidel Castro, and those directly affected negatively by Castro, are mostly no longer part of the population in Miami. At the same time, Central Florida is the real battleground in the state, the area that decides most elections. North Florida is much like Alabama or Georgia, its neighbors.

Ohio is strongly Democratic in the northern and central sections, particularly in Cleveland and Toledo, and the capital of Columbus, but in the more rural parts and in southern Ohio, near Kentucky, including Cincinnati, it is strongly Republican.

Illinois is dominated by Chicago in the northern part, but down state Illinois is much more Republican in orientation.

Michigan has Detroit as strongly Democratic but in western and northern Michigan, it is much more rural and Republican.

Texas has Democratic strongholds in the state capitol, Austin, and in Houston, while other portions of this very large state, including the rural areas, are strongly Republican.

California has Democratic strongholds in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Central Valley, San Diego, and cities like Bakersfield, where House Majority Leader and possible next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy resides, are strongly Republican.

The next race for the Speaker of the House could be between two Californians of totally different mentalities–Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

A basic reality is that urban areas are always much more likely to be Democratic while rural areas are certain to be more Republican.

Suburban areas are what often decides the politics of a state and in Congress and the Presidential election, as they are the balancing force that determines a state vote, and recently it seems clear the suburban areas, often Republican, are starting to move away from that long time loyalty.

Migration Of Puerto Ricans To US Mainland Will Transform Florida Politics Over Next Few Years In Favor Of Democratic Party

It is predictable, that as a result of Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico, we will see a massive migration of people from Puerto Rico to the mainland Unites States.

As citizens of the United States, all that it takes is a plane or ship trip to the mainland, and they are not immigrants.

The vast majority of migrating Puerto Ricans are likely to end up in Central Florida, around Orlando and Tampa, where recent settlement of Puerto Ricans has gone in the past few years.

Some will also also settle in South Florida as well, and additionally, many will go to New York City, where the original major population from decades ago from the island settled.

Some will end up in New Jersey, and in Philadelphia and Chicago, as major metropolitan areas.

The effect of this Puerto Rican population wave will have a dramatic effect on Florida politics, as long as these migrants choose to vote, after they have seen the lack of consideration or concern by President Donald Trump toward their island.

In general, Puerto Ricans, as other Hispanic groups, except Cubans, tend to vote Democratic historically.

So already, there are signs that Florida Governor Rick Scott, planning to challenge Senator Bill Nelson for his Senate seat next year, is showing signs of interest and concern about welcoming these migrants.

One can be sure that Scott is playing politics, as he still remains one of the absolutely worst Governors in America, and has shown little interest in any kind of assistance to the poor, minorities and making life better for Floridians, other than the wealthy.

But it is clear cut that we might see a major transformation in Florida politics, which could help swing the national election for President in future years in favor of the Democrats, as Florida had the third most electoral votes and will have more by the 2024 and 2028 elections.

79,829–Number That Prevented Hillary Clinton From Winning Presidency!

New vote counts indicate that Hillary Clinton gained about 30,000 votes in Philadelphia that had not yet been counted before today, bringing Donald Trump’s margin in Pennsylvania down from about 77,000 to 47,000 votes!

Add the approximate 10,000 vote margin of Trump in Michigan,and the 22,000 vote margin of Trump in Wisconsin, and that explains Trump’s win over Clinton, despite a 2.5 million popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump.

So anyone who still says voting does not matter now knows it makes ALL the difference in the world, and transforms American history.

And now we know that IF Jill Stein had not been on the ballot in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, assuming all of the Green Party votes would have gone to Clinton, she would have won, again showing how the Green Party made the difference, as it did in New Hampshire and Florida in 2000 with Ralph Nader, and denied Al Gore the Presidency, and gave it to George W. Bush.

This demonstrates that the Green Party has managed to harm the environmental cause twice, and one has to be furious, that the environment was harmed under George W. Bush, and is likely to be harmed greater now under Donald Trump.

So the Green Party did in its own purpose of being, showing the destructive nature of a third party that denied us two outstanding people who should have been President!

Prediction That Four States Will Decide Presidential Election—Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida–Is That Legitimate?

Many political observers are saying that four states are the true battleground that will decide who is inaugurated President on January 20, 2017.

Those states are Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.

The question is whether that belief is legitimate.

This blogger thinks it is much more complicated than those four states, and that two of them–Pennsylvania and Florida—are assured for the Democrats as it is.

Yes, it is true that Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia and east of Pittsburgh is often called “Alabama”, but Pennsylvania has been reliably “Blue” or Democratic for six straight elections from 1992 onward, and that is not likely to change. If “Alabama” really mattered as much as some think, then how did our African American President win the state both in 2008 and 2012? If anything, with the economy far better now than it was in 2008 and 2012, and with Barack Obama’s public opinion rating now at 58 percent, the highest since his first year in office (2009), Pennsylvania is assured to go “Blue” again. Remember, all that is needed is to win the most popular votes to win the electoral votes, not necessary to win a majority, but just a plurality.

Florida, despite being Republican in state elections, went for Barack Obama twice, and now there are many more Puerto Rican citizens who have moved from the island to central Florida in particular, due to the tough economic times in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are citizens who just need to re-register at their new address, and the vast majority of them are Democrats, and therefore now lessen the Cuban influence on the state vote. And many younger Cubans are not automatically conservative or Republican as their elders are. With the I-4 corridor (Central Florida) becoming more likely Democratic, add much of South Florida to the equation (Broward and Palm Beach Counties), and the influence of North Florida and Miami-Dade County (where many immigrants turned citizens from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and other nations in Latin America have migrated and not generally Republicans) are therefore outweighed, and with the better public opinion ratings of Obama added to the mix, the odds are that Florida will go “Blue” again.

Ohio is more difficult, and history tells us that every elected Republican President has won Ohio, so this is truly the crucial state but with Hillary Clinton having the edge in most polls. And one must remember Hillary has a built in edge in “Blue” States, and does not have to win Ohio, while Donald Trump must win it or have no chance to win the White House.

North Carolina went for Obama in 2008 but went “Red” for Mitt Romney in 2012, but polls now indicate that Hillary is favored, but again is not essential for Hillary to win the Presidency.

I would say beyond these four states, there are the states of Georgia and Arizona and Utah, all “Red” states, that indicate close races, with the possibility that they could go “Blue” for this election, and possibly beyond, particularly true for Georgia and Arizona, due to the increase in Hispanic and Latino population and voters.

So Hillary Clinton still has an overwhelming advantage, with eight weeks out from Election Day, to win the Presidency.

“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!

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!

Constitution Day Reminds Us Of When We Had Statesmen!

Today is Constitution Day, the celebration of the signing of the US Constitution on September 17, 1787, after four long, arduous months of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

It also reminds us of the great statesmen we had two centuries ago, who overcame disputes and conflicts to do what needed to be done for the nation and its future.

When one looks at the sad reality of two Republican Presidential debates so far, and the lack of statesmanship demonstrated, it is very depressing, as we do not have any sign that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower is capable of dealing with the domestic and foreign policy issues facing the nation in 2015.

Sure, some of the contenders in the CNN and the earlier Fox News debate come across as “better” than the others, but except for John Kasich, and possibly Jeb Bush, none of them possess real Presidential credibility, while at the least, Hillary Clinton and, if he runs, Joe Biden,  on the Democratic side, display such credibility.

We have a long way to go in the 2016 Presidential campaign, but we are not likely to find another James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman or William Paterson arising to give us hope that statesmanship is widely available!

Philadelphia The Site Of The Democratic National Convention The Week of July 25, 2016!

So the Democratic National Committee has chosen Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love”, the city of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention, the city of Benjamin Franklin, to be the host for the Democratic National Convention, which will nominate the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

The convention will be held in the last week of July, the week after the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

So therefore, there will be little time for a “bump” in the polls for the GOP Presidential nominee, and an extra month for the official campaign, which will now start in August, rather than around Labor Day in September.

This author had predicted that Columbus, Ohio, would be the site, and concedes that this time, unlike Tampa and the Republicans in 2012, that he turned out to have predicted incorrectly. The reasoning was that Ohio was in play as a “swing” state, while Pennsylvania is not really such.

However, Philadelphia is a great choice, and the general term “City of Brotherly Love’ actually fits perfectly, as the Democrats are the party of equal rights for gays and lesbians, while the Republicans, with a very few exceptions of office holders, still defy and oppose such equality, including marriage, although it is clear that the Supreme Court is about to declare this June that gays and lesbians may marry everywhere in the United States!