Presidential Election of 2012

Goodbye And Good Riddance To Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan: A Despicable Legacy Of Ayn Rand Worship And Obedience To Donald Trump

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will be leaving Congress, and the best way to look at it is: Goodbye and Good Riddance.

Ryan is a despicable legacy of Ayn Rand worship, whose goal in Congress, luckily unmet, was to wipe out the Social Welfare State of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, along with other reforms brought about by other Presidents of both political parties.

Ryan seemed excited at the thought of ending Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, although he gained from Social Security when his father died when he was a child, but seemed unperturbed in denying those less fortunate, and poor mothers and children the idea of any government support in their plight.

A so called “good Catholic”, who actually was denounced by Catholic leaders for his hard hearted attitude toward the poor and sick, he was anti abortion but did not care what happened once a child was born.

Ryan also showed willingness to be obedient toward Donald Trump’s abuse of power, and he presided over a massive increase in the national debt by his promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and his party now has to own the great increase in the national debt that occurred under George W. Bush and Donald Trump, which he ignored, while being constantly critical of Barack Obama, and refusing to come up with an alternative to ObamaCare.

The thought that he could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency as the potential Vice President under Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Campaign was horrifying, and this author denounced Ryan regularly at that time, and was bitterly attacked by the right wing in a vicious manner, but that did not intimidate me in calling him a disgraceful and despicable Republican leader.

To say that he was worse than the previous Speakers John Boehner and Dennis Hastert is quite a testimony to the disaster he represented as two heartbeats away from the Presidency while Speaker from 2015-2018.

He is being replaced by Democrat Nancy Pelosi, previously Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, the most productive years of any Speaker going back to the times of Thomas “Tip” O’Neill from 1977-1987.

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

Trend Toward Older First Term Members Of Congress–Mitt Romney And Donna Shalala As Examples Of Trend

A trend that has developed lately is that some new members of Congress are older than usually at their swearing in, as compared to previous times.

We have two such examples in the 116th Congress.

Newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, will be two months short of age 72 in January. He lost the race for a Senate seat in Massachusetts to Senator Ted Kennedy in the Midterm Elections of 1994, 24 years ago, but now will be in the Senate a quarter century later.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, after being President of Hunter College from 1980-1988 and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1988-1993, was then President of the University of Miami in Florida from 2001-2015, and President of the Clinton Foundation from 2015-2017. She is now the new Congresswoman in the Miami, Florida district that was occupied by Ileana Ros Lehtinen from 1989 through 2018. It earlier had been the seat of the revered Claude Pepper from 1962-1999.

That seat in South Florida is an especially sacred seat in a sense, and Shalala will be one month short of age 78 when she joins the House of Representatives.

The Ultimate Outcome Of The Midterm Elections Of 2018: The Social Welfare, Social Justice State Is Permanent After 83 Years

The ultimate outcome of the Midterm Elections of 2018 is the success and institutionalization of the Social Welfare, Social Justice State, finally permanent after 83 years.

It all goes back to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the passage of Social Security in 1935, bitterly fought by Republicans and conservatives of that era, and still argued about by such leaders as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan over the next half century.

But in 1983, President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill negotiated a bipartisan deal to save Social Security, not destroy it as Reagan had wanted to do, and it is the fundamental part of the Social Safety Net.

In 1965, after years of opposition by Republicans and conservatives, Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society accomplished Medicare and Medicaid. It has continued to be attacked and condemned, but it has survived and is a great part of the Social Safety Net.

Then, in 2010, Barack Obama accomplished the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, with no cooperation from Republicans or conservatives, even though back in 1993, conservatives, with the support of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, came up with a very similar health care plan, in opposition to the Bill and Hillary Clinton health care plan, which ultimately failed of passage. Also, Mitt Romney in Massachusetts accomplished a very similar plan as ObamaCare, but ran against his own plan for the nation when he ran for President in 2012.

The Republicans continued to try to destroy ObamaCare ever since 2010, having 70 votes on it over the years, but Chief Justice Roberts and Senator John McCain in 2012 and 2017, respectively, backed continuation at crucial moments. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that, clearly, ObamaCare is here to stay, so like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare has survived and become a permanent part of the Social Safety Net.

The Democrats and progressives have accomplished these great pieces of legislation since 1935, and the goal has always been to improve the laws, as no one ever said they were perfect, but it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who have advocated and succeeded in accomplishing the Social Welfare, Social Justice state, and they should be very proud of the work they have done.

So FDR, LBJ, and Obama are the three most successful domestic policy Presidents, and not just in the areas mentioned in this article!

Two Outliers: Republican Governors In Heavily Democratic States—Larry Hogan In Maryland And Charlie Baker In Massachusetts

In the midst of highly partisan elections being the norm in America under Donald Trump, we have the two outliers that are hard to explain.

In Maryland and Massachusetts, two heavily “Blue” states, we have very popular moderate Republican governors on their way to easy reelection victories.

Maryland, a heavily Democratic state, with strong backing from those living in the Washington DC suburbs, Larry Hogan has a 68 percent rating in his popular support, and is way ahead of Ben Jealous, the African American Democratic nominee for Governor, who was former head of the NAACP. Barack Obama twice and Hillary Clinton won the last three Presidential races by 25 to 26 points in each of those contests.

But somehow, Hogan is seen as an easy victor for a second term. He has 65 percent approval from Democrats, 64 percent backing from Independents, and 81 percent support from Republicans. Hogan has avoided being supportive of Donald Trump, and in fact, has been clearly critical of the President.

Every poll shows Hogan winning, as high as 58 percent, with a undecided percentage being as high as 10-18 percent in some polls, indicating the likelihood that Hogan will win a landslide victory of more than 60 percent in November. Hogan has had to deal with a heavily two thirds Democratic legislature and a Congressional delegation (7 Democrats to one Republican) dominated by Democrats.

Massachusetts, another heavily Democratic state, and a heavily (80 percent) Democratic legislature, and an all Democratic Congressional delegation, yet has had Republican Charlie Baker as its governor for the past four years, and in polls, Baker is ahead of his Hispanic Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, by margins of 52 to 68 percent, depending on the poll. Barack Obama won by 26 and 23 percent, and Hillary Clinton by 27 points in the last three Presidential elections.

Baker has also shown himself to be a moderate Republican who has been regularly critical of Donald Trump, and has had as high as a 71 percent majority of popularity in his term of office, higher even than Larry Hogan in Maryland. One can assume that he will win two thirds or more of the vote on November 6.

So both Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker are outliers, on the way to what is conceived as a “Blue Wave”.

Candidates For US Senate Who Might Start First Term In Their 70s: Mitt Romney In Utah And Phil Bredesen In Tennessee

A new phenomenon is that newly elected members of the Senate are tending to come into office at advanced ages.

In 2019, we could have two new Senators in their 70s upon taking the oath of office to serve their states in the Senate.

Mitt Romney, the former Republican nominee for President in 2012, is almost certain to win the Senate seat in Utah, and he would be two and half months short of 72 in January 2019.

Phil Bredesen, the former Democratic Governor of Tennessee, if he wins the open Senate seat, would be two months past 75 in January 2019.

They would both surpass two other Senators who were a bit younger–Republican S. I Hayakawa of California who took office in 1977 at age 70; and Angus King, Independent of Maine, who was 68 in 2013 when first came to the Senate, and running again now in 2018 at age 74.

The Next Speaker Of The House IF GOP Keeps Majority: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Or Jim Jordan

If the Republican Party, somehow, holds on to majority control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, they will need to select a new Speaker of the House, as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

At this point, there are three key contenders for the Speakership in the Republican Party:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana

House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan of Ohio

All three, honestly, make outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan look better by comparison, and yet, my readers know how much I dislike, and have denounced Paul Ryan, including when he was the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, for which I was viciously attacked on several right wing websites at the time.

But seriously, Kevin McCarthy is practically the “lap dog” of Donald Trump, extremely loyal and obedient, and was seemingly aware of Russian Collusion in 2016, was talking about it at a Republican House conference meeting, until Paul Ryan told him to stop talking about it. He is a man without any principles other than the advancement of Donald Trump and his agenda, part of the Trump party, rather than the traditional Republican Party, and even more so than Paul Ryan, who has been unwilling to speak out against Trump’s disgraceful tweets and policies. McCarthy has refused to engage in Town Hall events in his Bakersfield, California district since 2010. He also promoted pursuit of Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi, Libya incident, where four diplomats were killed, gaining a reputation of promoting a “hit job” on her, when many more diplomats were killed at embassies during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Steve Scalise, thankfully, recovered from being shot at the Congressional baseball game in June 2017, but it had no effect on his views on gun control, which is no regulation at all. Beyond that, Scalise used to be a friend of Ku Klux Klan Wizard and white supremacist David Duke, although now, of course, he denies it, and tries to claim it was not so. He would, in this author’s view, be a worse choice than McCarthy. However, for those who are uncomfortable with McCarthy, and might prefer a Southerner as the next Speaker, due to the strong GOP presence in the South, he might be seen as a potential favorite, and certainly less disgraceful by comparison, to the third choice, Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jim Jordan, who is a co leader of the House Freedom Caucus, the most Far Right group in the Republican Party, has been accused of covering up abuse of athletes on the wrestling team at Ohio State University, when he was an assistant coach in the 1980s. He was one of the Republicans who promoted government shutdowns, and has done everything possible to block the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from pursuing investigation of the Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. He also pursed the Benghazi, Libya investigation of the deaths of four diplomats, targeting Hillary Clinton in a total of 11 investigations, which found no evidence of wrongdoing, and which featured 11 hours of testimony by Clinton, with no sign of weakness on her part, as compared to the performance of many others investigated by Congressional committees. Plain and simple, Jordan would be the absolute worst of the three choices being considered by the Republicans, although others might join the fray after the midterm elections.

It is indeed a very sad situation when we can look back on John Boehner as being far better than Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan.

Let us hope that one of the latter three will be the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker of the House in 2019-2020.

13 Democratic Women Senate Candidates, 11 Running For Reelection, And 2 New Candidates Competing in Arizona And Nevada In 2018 Midterms

In 2018, the US Senate has 23 women serving in the body, including 17 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

11 of the 17 Democratic women face reelection challenges in November.

These include the following:

Dianne Feinstein of California
Mazie Hirono of Hawaii
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Tina Smith of Minnesota
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Maria Cantwell of Washington State
Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin

Additionally, two women are running for election to the Senate:

Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
Jacky Rosen of Nevada

Also, Jenny Wilson is the Democratic nominee in Utah, competing against former 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney for the seat of retiring Orrin Hatch, but seen as having no real chance to overcome the well known Romney, much admired in Mormon dominated Utah.

At this point, six weeks before the midterm elections, all of the seated Democratic women Senators seem likely to be reelected, with the most contentious challenges being Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

The odds on the two women running for election in Arizona and Nevada also look good at this point.

So the odds are heavy that there will be 25 women in the Senate in 2019, with 19 being Democrats and 6 Republicans.

And in the cases of Wisconsin and Arizona, the Republican challengers are women, so already we can add Arizona as a state which will have its first woman Senator. Additionally, Nebraska’s Republican woman Senator, Deb Fischer, has a Democratic opponent who is female, so that assures that seat will continue to have a woman as well.

Jon Huntsman Needs To Resign As Ambassador To Russia, And Consider A Presidential Challenge In The GOP Primaries In 2020

The US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has been urged by his hometown newspaper in Utah to resign, after the disastrous performance of Donald Trump at the summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland, and not made any better by Trump’s claim that he misspoke one word, meaning “wouldn’t” instead of “would”.

Disillusionment with Trump, and concern that he is “owned” by Putin, who has some deep, dark, scandalous secret about Trump, is spreading, and as this author and blogger stated last week, we could be witnessing a “Manchurian Candidate” situation, as well as possibly a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and a Multiple Personality Disorder President, with the danger of his access to nuclear weapons.

Huntsman, who this author and blogger believed was the best Republican Presidential contender in 2012, and even better than John Kasich, believed to be the best 2016 Republican Presidential contender, has seen his daughter Abby, who is on Fox News Channel, condemning Trump’s press conference in Helsinki, Finland.

It is believed that Huntsman is unhappy over the circumstances, and it would be a badge of honor for him to resign now, and consider a Presidential challenge to Donald Trump and or Mike Pence in the 2020 Primaries.

While this author and blogger is not a fan of Republicans in general, the one way possible to revive the image of the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, would be if we were to see a ticket of Huntsman and John Kasich, or possibly the opposite.

I would not vote for such a ticket, but IF we were to be “stuck” with another four years of Republicans in the White House, far preferable to have Huntsman-Kasich or Kasich-Huntsman than Trump-Pence or Pence and whoever else!

Speaker Paul Ryan Dismissal Of Catholic Chaplain For Statement About Protecting Those Less Fortunate Is An Outrage!

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been a disgraceful Speaker, far worse than his predecessor John Boehner.

That is saying a lot, as Boehner was far from virtuous.

But Ryan who defines himself as a “devout” Catholic is nothing better than a phony, as his Catholicism and Christian beliefs are extreme right wing “prosperity” based.

The right wing Christianity condemns the poor and disadvantaged, and emphasizes acquisition of wealth over everything. the precise repudiation of the message of Jesus Christ.

So the decision of Ryan to dismiss the Catholic chaplain Patrick Conroy for his statement hoping that the recently enacted tax bill, which clearly benefited the rich over the rest of the population, that there should be no winners or losers in the legislation, and that benefits should be balanced and shared by all Americans, is to be condemned,

What is wrong with that statement? It is a Social Justice view of Catholicism and Christianity, totally appropriate, and the true message that Jesus preached.

Ryan’s abrupt decision, after he announced his retirement at the end of this year, was denounced by Democrats, but also many Republicans in the House of Representatives as totally outrageous and should not be happening.

It just adds to this blogger’s long held denunciation of Ryan, going back to when he was selected as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2012, which led to bitter attacks by many trolls on this author and his views on this blog, as well as on social media.

Now, more than ever, Paul Ryan has proved how disgraceful and biased a person he is, with his Ayn Rand, Social Darwinist view of his faith and of the rights of the American people.

Ryan would love to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other social safety net programs, and for that, he will be condemned in history.