Presidential Election Of 2016

The Positive Contributions Of The Joe Biden Vice Presidency

Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, is leaving public life after 44 years in the federal government, 36 as a US Senator from Delaware, and 8 years as Vice President.

Joe Biden is a true national treasure, who if not for the death of his son, Beau Biden, in May 2015, might have run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might very well have defeated Hillary Clinton, and then won the election in the crucial states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Although Biden will be 78 in 2020, he has the energy, the knowledge, the experience needed to defeat Donald Trump, and he just might return to the Senate in 2018, if Tom Carper follows through on his plans to retire.

So it is not yet time to say Biden’s career is over, although in elective office, it might be, but he will play a public role because it is in his blood to do so, and he will not stay silent when he sees wrongs being done by the Donald Trump Administration.

The alliance of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was the closest one in American history, possibly matched by Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, who in two days will have both survived the amazing total of 36 years since the Presidency and 40 years since their election in 1976!

Obama utilized Biden’s connections on Capitol Hill; and gave Biden an office in the White House, as Carter had done for Mondale; and had weekly lunches with Biden as Carter did with Mondale.

Joe Biden was a true Presidential Advisor, full time participant, and trouble shooter, and was not afraid to disagree with Obama, particularly on foreign policy, his expertise, but was always a loyal part of the team once a decision had been made by the President.

Biden’s warm, sincere personality was lovable, and he was able to work across the aisle on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and other influential Republicans, and the entire Senate honored him recently for his cordial and effective role in the Senate.

Biden took the lead on gay rights and gay marriage; protection of women against violence; immigration reform; environmental advancements; gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre; and the War on Cancer after his son died of that horrendous disease. Foreign leaders also, totally, respected him.

Joe Biden could be regarded as the greatest Vice President in American history, and his lifelong contributions will mark him in history as a very special political leader!

Thank you for your service to the nation and to Barack Obama, Vice President Biden!

Ike’s Farewell Address Being Ignored By Republican Party And Donald Trump 56 Years Later

On this day in 1961, with three days left in office, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his greatest speech in his Farewell Address, warning America about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex.

56 years later, the Republican Party and Donald Trump are totally ignoring this warning, and setting America back to the Gilded Age in domestic policy making, and a dangerous isolationism in foreign policy, alienating all of our NATO allies, and creating an unstable world by the lunatic ideas of a man many are calling Trumpolini!

We are moving into very difficult and tumultuous times, and yet 11 million more people voted against Donald Trump than for him, when one counts the 3 million more votes for Hillary Clinton, and the total of 8 million more votes for third party and independent candidates.

Our Electoral College system has put America into a constitutional crisis, with no idea how it will end.

Progressives must commit themselves to fight endlessly against the extremist right wing government, Fascist in many ways, that is about to take over our government.

We will need to be vigilant about our Bill of Rights, and refuse to sit back and allow horrible actions that are against our entire historical tradition.

New Analysis Of Presidential Vote: Trump Had A Majority of Eleven Million Popular Votes Against Him, Far From A Mandate!

As the Presidential Inauguration comes upon on us in five days, a new analysis of the election results shows the repudiation of Donald Trump by the American people.

Yes, the Electoral College, an outdated system that should be reformed, but will not be, made him the winner because of an 80,000 votes margin in three states–Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

But there were a total of 137 million popular votes and Trump won only 63 million, meaning he lost 74 million, a total of ELEVEN million majority against him!

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million, but almost 8 million votes were cast for other candidates and third parties. So other candidates received, together, SIX percent of the vote, although no states were won by other than Trump and Clinton.

So Donald Trump does NOT have a mandate, and public opinion polls already show him the least popular President-Elect ever since polling began!

115th Congress Begins Tomorrow: Joe Biden Could Have A Surprise (We Can Hope)!

Tuesday, January 3, is the opening of the 115th Congress, but Joe Biden is still Vice President for 17 days more, and could have a surprise up his sleeve, which is perfectly constitutional.

What is this potential surprise?

Joe Biden, in league with Democrats in the US Senate, can call for an immediate vote on the languishing Supreme Court appointment of Merrick Garland, made ten months ago, to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of last year.

It is unheard of to deny the Supreme Court a full number of members for an entire year, but this is what the Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did, and it borders on unconstitutionality, for which the Republicans have suffered no consequences.

Joe Biden, after 36 years in the US Senate, and eight as Vice President under Barack Obama, has continued to keep good relationships across the aisle, and was praised profusely recently by Republicans, as well as Democrats, in a near eulogy about his great Senate and public service.

But that does not mean that Joe Biden is, as nice and gracious and cordial and warm as he is, not willing to be a gutter fighter over principles he believes in, and he was vehement at the unfairness of not giving Merrick Garland a Senate hearing at the least, on his unquestioned qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Garland was “railroaded” in Biden’s mind, victimized for no good reason, and Joe feels Garland should not be pushed by the wayside, in his own heart and mind.

So the rumors were around, and then hushed, that Joe Biden might call for a vote of the 66 returning Senators who do not need to be sworn in by him after 12 noon tomorrow.

If he decides to call a vote, the balance of those 66 Senators is 34 Democrats, 2 Independents (Bernie Sanders and Angus King), and 30 Republicans, so on a straight party line vote, Garland would be confirmed 36-30, and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans could do NOTHING about it legally, as it is constitutional to call a vote, and there is no constitutional requirement to have hearings. Many Justices never had hearings, which only became customary and drawn out in the 1980s, when Joe Biden led the fight with Ted Kennedy against Robert Bork, and later in the 1990s and since, when Joe Biden led the fight against Clarence Thomas on the Court.

So the point is that Joe Biden knows now to play “hard ball”, and he just could surprise us tomorrow, which would lead to condemnation by the right wing and Republicans, but who really cares?

The GOP does not worry about being nasty and playing “hard ball”! In fact, they specialize and revel in it, so let them stew in their own juice!

Let us hope that Joe makes news and distinction for one of his last actions as Vice President and Presiding Officer of the US Senate.

Let him become the center of attention, and maybe, just maybe, if he stays in good health, he can break a new barrier in four years, becoming the oldest President of the United States at age 78, making Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan look like youngsters by comparison.

Certainly, Joe Biden, the common man with no fortune, running against the wealthiest and most arrogant man to ever hold the Presidency, Donald Trump, would look very tempting as an alternative in 2020, since so many think he could have won the difference in the vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, had he run, and son Beau Biden had not tragically passed away in 2015.

And there are strong hints that Delaware Senator Tom Carper, with a long distinguished career with six years as State Treasurer, ten years as Congressman, eight years as Governor, and 18 years as US Senator by the end of 2018, may wish to retire, so imagine this!

Joe Biden could run for and win back a Senate seat and add to his 36 years in the Senate, and be a sitting Senator if he decides to run for President again, and if not, he can still serve his nation in the US Senate, and add to his distinguished record of public service!

How Slim Margins Decide So Many Presidential Elections And Affect American History And Government Policies!

The argument that many ill informed people have is that “voting does not matter”, when just the opposite is true.

As we begin 2017 and the reality of President Trump in 19 days, a look at history tells us clearly how small numbers of votes or percentages of votes make a dramatic difference, as demonstrated in the following elections in American history:

1844– a switch of a few thousand votes in New York would have given the election to Henry Clay, instead of James K. Polk, and the difference was the small third party, the Liberty Party.

1848–a switch of a few thousand votes, again in New York, would have given the election to Lewis Cass, instead of Zachary Taylor, but Free Soil Party nominee, Martin Van Buren, former Democratic President and from New York, won ten percent of the total national vote, and threw the election to Whig candidate Taylor in New York.

1876—the dispute over the contested votes of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida led to a special Electoral Commission set up, which rewarded all of those three states’ electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, although Democrat Samuel Tilden led nationally by about 250,000 popular votes.

1880–James A. Garfield won the popular vote by the smallest margin ever, about 2,000 votes, and won the big state of New York by only 20,000 votes, in defeating his opponent Winfield Scott Hancock.

1884–Grover Cleveland won his home state of New York by about 1,000 votes, which decided the election, and nationally only by about 57,000 votes over James G. Blaine.

1888–Grover Cleveland won the national popular vote by about 90,000, but lost in close races in his home state of New York and opponent Benjamin Harrison’s home state of Indiana, so lost the Electoral College, as Harrison became President. The Harrison lead in New York was less than 14,000 votes and in Indiana, less than 2,000.

1916—Woodrow Wilson won California by less than 4,000 votes, but enough to elect him to the White House over Republican Charles Evans Hughes.

1948–Harry Truman won three states by less than one percent–Ohio, California and Illinois–over Thomas E. Dewey, and that decided the election.

1960–John F. Kennedy won Illinois by about 8,000 votes; Texas by about 46,000 votes; and Hawaii by under 200 votes, and only had a two tenths of one percentage point popular vote victory nationally, about 112,000 votes, over Richard Nixon.

1976–Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford by two percentage points, but a switch of 5,600 votes in Ohio and 3,700 votes in Hawaii would have given the election to Ford.

2000—Al Gore lost Florida by 537 votes, in the final judgment of the Supreme Court, which intervened in the election, and had he won Florida, he would have been elected President, even though he won the national popular vote by about 540,000. Bush also won New Hampshire by only about 7,000 votes, but won the Electoral College 271-266.

2016–Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by about 2.85 million, but lost the crucial states of Michigan by about 10,000; Wisconsin by about 22,000; and Pennsylvania by about 46,000, to Donald Trump, so together about 79,000 votes decided the Electoral College.

So the idea that voting is not important, does not matter, is proved wrong so many times in American history! Every vote does indeed count, and has long range implications on who sits in the White House, and what policies are pursued, which affect all of us!

Widespread Protests Against Trump Inauguration Grow Day By Day!

Widespread protests against the Trump Inauguration are growing day by day.

No significant entertainers are willing to perform at his inauguration in Washington DC on Friday, January 20, 2017.

The Rockettes are divided over performance, with some dancers refusing to do so, although under pressure to follow orders.

Some members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are also reluctant to sing for the incoming President, on moral and ethical grounds.

This is all perfectly understandable, as many see performing for Trump as equivalent of performing for Adolf Hitler, right or wrong.

The fact that Trump consorts with other dictators, including Vladimir Putin of Russia, and the leaders of such nations as Turkey, and the Philippines, and even has had praise for North Korea’s leader Kim Jon Un as a “strong leader”, is indeed alarming.

One gets the feeling that Trump’s willingness to ignore security information that shows Russia hacked our election process, and therefore helped Donald Trump, and seems to be engaged in a “bromance” with Putin disgusts and alarms millions of Americans, does not phase him one bit.

The Republican Party is starting to split with Trump on this, with Senator John McCain calling for hearings on Thursday, January 5.

So there are fireworks ahead, and it is expected that there will be widespread protests against Trump centered around Inauguration Day, totally appropriate freedom of assembly and nonviolent civil disobedience, and it is all a harbinger of the next four years!

So we can wish for a Happy New Year 2017, but there are warning signs ahead of a very difficult, tumultuous year!

Could Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Or Bernie Sanders Have Won In 2016?

President Barack Obama has opined that had he been able to run for a third term, which is forbidden by the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution since 1951, that he would have defeated Donald Trump.

That brings to mind the issue whether if Vice President Joe Biden had been the nominee, whether he could have won over Donald Trump.

And also, the issue arises whether Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had overcome Hillary Clinton in delegates, could he have won.

The gut feeling of this author and blogger is that either Obama or Biden would have been able to win enough additional support to overcome the Clinton deficit in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and also possibly in Florida and Ohio as well.

On the other hand, this author feels that Bernie Sanders, despite his inspiring campaign and support from millennials, and seen as the protest candidate as much as Donald Trump to many, would NOT have won, and the reasons are sad and unpleasant.

Sanders being Jewish, although he is not at all religious in any sense, would have worked against him, as anti Semitism is still an ugly reality in America.

Also, the fact that Sanders calls himself a Socialist, although far from scary or terrifying in reality, would likely have been used by Donald Trump against him, as Trump actually did call Sanders a “Communist” once or twice during campaign rallies, and the ignorant, clueless people who backed Trump would not be intelligent enough to understand the difference, and that Sanders is more like a Scandinavian Socialist from Norway or Sweden, and is no danger in any sense to American traditions.

So the best judgment of this author is that Obama or Biden could have won, but not Sanders.

Productive Year On History News Network Concludes With 50th Article, All Posted On Right Side Of Blog

The year 2016 has been an amazing year for this author and blogger, in a way one could not imagine when the year began.

I contacted Rick Shenkman of HistoryNewsNetwork.org in January about contributing to his website which gains an average of 800,000 hits per month, and publishes multiple articles on all kinds of historical and current events topics three times per week.

He agreed, and I have been fortunate enough to publish the grand total of 50 articles this year, mostly on the Presidential Election of 2016, but also some on other historical topics, and also some articles related to my Assassinations book, which came out in August 2015, and will be issued in paperback in March 2017.

The most recent article, on reassessing Jimmy Carter after a record 13,000 plus days out of the Presidency, was published on Christmas Day, and is now posted on the right side of this blog with the other articles for easy reading.

I would not expect that I will be as productive in the future, as 2016 was an unusual year, but I plan to continue to contribute articles in this coming year of 2017 and future years, as events require it, and they will be posted on the blog.

All my articles on HNN, plus two reproduced on TIME Magazine’s website, and two TheHill.com articles in late 2015 on my book, are now easily found.

Meanwhile, I continue to write regularly on this blog, and the total is now over 5,450 entries since its inception in August 2008, and I hope to continue to do this for many more years, and wish to thank those readers who have contributed their ideas and thoughts in response to my entries.

If anything, the coming of the Trump Presidency requires more vigilance and watchfulness, so we can promote the progressive cause long term. It will not be an easy struggle, but is required to fight the good fight for one’s principles.

So Happy New Year everyone, and to the health and prosperity of America, and of progressive reform ideas surviving in a difficult era!

Three Straight 8 Year Presidencies: Are We Likely To Have A Fourth?

As Barack Obama ends his 8 year Presidency, the third in a row, matching Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe (1801-1825), the question naturally arises: What are the chances of Donald Trump managing to be President for 8 years from 2017-2025?

It seems highly unlikely that Trump will stay in office for eight long years, but if he did, he would leave office at age 78 and seven months, about eight months older than Ronald Reagan was when he left office in January 1989.

Trump is already judged mentally unhinged by many, and his habit of sleeping very little and tweeting in the middle of the night, works against his mental and physical health for eight years.

Trump is likely to be controversial from Day One, and to believe that he will not alienate millions of Americans, beyond the majority who voted against him in 2016, is to be delusional.

The odds are good that he will face resistance from elements of the Republican Party, as well as the opposition Democratic Party over the next four years, and it is possible that a move will be made under the 25th Amendment to judge him not fit to serve, at least temporarily, leading to a long term “Acting President” Mike Pence, if Trump cannot be convinced to resign.

Mike Pence would be a dream for the right wing of the party, but likely would cause such a reaction, due to his religious extremism on women’s issues and gays and lesbians, so most likely would be a Pence Presidency ended by defeat in 2020.

In other words, this term could be like the second Nixon-Gerald Ford term, with Ford finishing the term but losing the election in 1976. But this statement is made, not to besmirch Gerald Ford, who would be far preferable to Mike Pence in every fashion, but simply the sense that this is the future, with a Democratic President in 2020, although right now, no real leader of such a transformation can yet be figured out.

Donald Trump Ups The Ante On Nuclear War, Abandoning Direction Since Ronald Reagan

A very worrisome development is the tweet from Donald Trump, indicating his plans to build up the nuclear weapons capacity of the the United States, defying policy since Ronald Reagan negotiated with Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s.

The purpose has been to lower the danger of nuclear war, but now Trump, in reaction to Vladimir Putin’s reckless statement, has similarly reacted, upping the ante on the possibility of a reaction that could destroy the human race.

There has been concern all along that Donald Trump is too unhinged and careless, to be given the nuclear codes, since he is very thin skinned, and reacts badly to every criticism and attack, many of which he should simply ignore, but he does not have the ability to overlook anything said against him by anyone.

This is not a good Christmas and New Year’s gift to the nation or the world, and makes the upcoming inauguration on January 20, 2017, not one that will be widely celebrated in a nation where Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, won a massive popular victory nearing 3 million, more than 11 Presidents have won out of 44 in our history.