Presidential Election Of 2016

Christmas Day: 15 States Refuse To Promote ObamaCare Or Expand Medicaid To Their Poorest Citizens!

Today is Christmas, and one would think it is a day when caring about others less fortunate than ourselves would be at the top of the agenda.

But not true in 15 of the states, heavily Southern and Great Plains–the rabidly Republican areas with a political establishment that does not care about the plight of the poor one iota, and have refused to promote ObamaCare or a Medicaid expansion!

These states should be embarrassed at the lack of concern over health care, which should be a human right, as much as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as one cannot be very happy if one is unable to afford health care and, therefore, is certain to die earlier rather than later!

The list of states that make up this infamous list include: Maine and Wisconsin, who have two horrific Tea Party Governors, Paul LePage and Scott Walker; Missouri, with a Democratic Governor, Jay Nixon, who has not distinguished himself with his handling of the Ferguson controversy over the death of an unarmed black teenager; the Great Plains states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, with some of the worst Governors in the nation; and the Southern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Think about it: Besides Paul LePage and Scott Walker, other Governors who are seen by progressives in a negative light, include Sam Brownback, Mary Fallin, Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry (soon to be succeeded by Greg Abbott)!

Only Missouri has a Democratic Governor, and yet not a good one, in Jay Nixon. Otherwise, these states, overall, have a record of being among the worst states in so many economic statistics, with the exception of Wisconsin, often a progressive state, but now under the control of a despicable Governor who wants to be President, but is, hopefully, going to fail in that mission!

Republican Split On Obama’s Cuban Initiative Will Cause Turmoil In GOP Presidential Race

President Barack Obama’s decision to change policy toward Cuba is already stirring up controversy in the Republican Party Presidential race.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona went along on the trip to Cuba to bring back Alan Gross and an American spy in exchange for three Cuban spies, and he has long believed that the 54 year old policy of isolation of Cuba has been wrong, and needed to be revisited.

But Flake is not running for President, so he is a rare standout for his views on Cuba in the Republican Party, although his actions and words insure a tough race for reelection, when he comes up in 2018.

But the big news is that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a full fledged Presidential aspirant, has taken the same stand, just as his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, took on Cuba for many years, making him a pariah in the Republican Party.

Rand Paul has come under bitter attack by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, two rivals of his for the nomination, and both Cuban Americans. And others in Republican leadership have also joined in the attack, including Jeb Bush.

The question is whether Rand Paul has forfeited any chance to be the GOP Presidential nominee by his decision to back Barack Obama on this initiative.

It will, most certainly, stir up the race, and make future attitudes and policies toward Cuba a key issue in the Republican Presidential primaries, as it is likely that the critics of Obama’s changed policy will promise to restore the isolationist policy that has been in existence for a half century, were any of them to become President.

Ironically, though, by 2017, we will be nearing the end of the Castro brothers in power, as Raul Castro has said he will retire in 2018, when he is 87, and Fidel Castro is 92. So the end is near for this two brother dominance of the future of Cuba!

It Looks As If The Bush Dynasty Is Not Done: Hints That Jeb Bush Will Announce For President!

It now seems clear that Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor; and brother of the 43rd President, George W. Bush; and son of the 41st President, George H. W. Bush, will soon announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

Jeb has not run for political office since 2002, and has not been in political office since 2006, but he is making the rounds of appropriate sites and venues, and speaking out on the issues as he sees them, many of them alienating the Tea Party Movement within the GOP, but soothing the mainstream, “Establishment” Republicans, who tend to control the party machinery when it comes to actual nomination battles, including those of Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012.

If Jeb does run, he will run as a hawk in foreign policy, and sympathetic on immigration and “common core” educational standards in domestic policy, all of which will irritate many who are part of the right wing extremists in the party in 2014.

If he runs, it will also make the Bush family a true dynasty covering nearly 40 years of American politics, as his dad was considered as a possible Vice Presidential alternative, instead of Gerald Ford, when Spiro Agnew resigned at the time that Richard Nixon was under fire for Watergate.

Ford also thought of George H W Bush as a possible running mate in 1976, maybe not seriously, but under consideration, and then Bush became a Presidential candidate in 1980, ended up as the runner up, and agreed to join Ronald Reagan as Vice President for two terms. This was followed by one term in the White House, and then a bitter defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992.

But his two oldest sons then ran for the Governorships of Texas and Florida in 1994, and when Jeb lost in Florida by a very small margin, he set his sights on 1998, when he won in Florida, and then served as Florida Governor for two terms, while brother George W. went to the White House for two controversial terms.

Jeb running would create great controversy, but the Bush Family is not afraid of that, and it seems doubtful now that mother Barbara arguing against Jeb running will be listened to anymore.

Were he to win and serve two terms, Jeb would add to the fact that the Bush Dynasty would have lasted longer than any other, even more than the Adamses (John and John Quincy, and with THREE Presidents, not two. And the theoretical Kennedy dynasty would look quite insignificant, since only John F. Kennedy had the opportunity to serve as President, despite the desires of many that Robert and Ted Kennedy might do the same.

So although the Bush dynasty might not seem as glamorous as the Kennedy dynasty has often been seen, it is still making history!

Jerry Brown’s Fourth Presidential Campaign Coming In 2016?

California Governor Jerry Brown is one of the most fascinating figures in American politics.

Always a bit different than other politicians, and often seen in his younger days as “flaky”, Brown is now 76 years old, and will begin his fourth term as governor of the largest state in the Union, California, next month.

Brown became noticed nationally precisely forty years ago when he succeeded Ronald Reagan, who had defeated Brown’s dad, Pat Brown, who had served two terms as Governor, before Reagan’s two terms.

Brown was 36 years old when he began his first term as Governor. Now he is 76 years old, and has proved to be a true survivor over four decades of American history.

After leaving the California Governorship at the end of 1982, and having lost a race for the US Senate, Brown ended up in public office again as Mayor of Oakland, and State Attorney General, before deciding to run again for Governor in 2010, 28 years after his having left that office.

Brown came into a state reeling from economic disaster under previous Governor Gray Davis, who was removed from office in a recall election in 2003, but his successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had little more luck on the economy.

But now, the California economy is flourishing by comparison, with the budget deficit overcome by tax increases and some budget cuts.

So there are observers who think Brown might just announce his fourth Presidential candidacy, having challenged ultimate nominee Jimmy Carter in 1976; President Carter in 1980; and ultimate nominee Bill Clinton in 1992.

And the thought that Brown might challenge Hillary Clinton, 24 years after challenging her husband, is, in itself, a fascinating story.

Is there any chance that Jerry Brown, 40 years after first trying for the Presidency, could actually be elected the 45th President?

The odds would be astronomical, but considering that we had a failed candidate (Richard Nixon) come back in 1968; an obscure peanut farmer from Georgia (Jimmy Carter) win in 1976; a losing Presidential contender nearly 70 (Ronald Reagan) come back to win in 1980; a candidate who had a sex scandal erupt during the battle for the nomination in 1992 (Bill Clinton), but overcome it to win: and an mixed race first term US Senator with an unusual name (Barack Obama) win in 2008; who can say this could not happen?

A Presidential Race Without Hillary Clinton Or Jeb Bush Would Be Better For The Nation!

CNN Anchor Candy Crowley has said that she believes Hillary Clinton will not run for President in 2016.

Charlie Cook, Editor of the Charlie Cook Political Report, has said that Hillary hurt her cause on her recent book tour, and is seen as “rusty” by many, and that many think she will not run, although he thinks she will run. Cook also says that it is highly unlikely that Jeb Bush will run, and if he does, the odds of him being the GOP nominee for 2016 are low, predicting that a Tea Party Senator or a Midwest Governor will be the likely nominee.

What Cook says, if it happens, will actually be good for the nation, as we really need new faces, someone who has not run for President, on both sides of the political divide, and that includes Mitt Romney!

So if one goes by what Crowley and Cook are saying, the most likely strong competitors on the Democratic side would be Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, and two Virginians, Senator Mark Warner, and former Senator Jim Webb (who has recently made clear he intends to run no matter what Hillary Clinton does). Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, should not be left out of the fray, with the last two possibly entering if Hillary does not run. And New York Governor Andrew Cuomo might also choose to run. At this point, the favorite would be Elizabeth Warren. This is all based on the assumption that Vice President Joe Biden, not a new name himself, will not run, or will falter. In other words, a non Hillary race would be a lot more exciting, and a surprise could emerge from the race.

On the Republican side, if Charlie Cook is correct, it means one of the Tea Party Senators–Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas–would emerge as the favorite, alongside a Midwestern Governor—meaning John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or Mike Pence of Indiana.

Trying to imagine the final two in the Presidential race from this group is purely a guess–but somehow, the thought of Warren vs Kasich comes to mind, but really is a pure random guess!

Jeb Bush and Rob Portman Are Lost Causes! Where Is John Kasich As The Alternative For The Mainstream Conservative Republicans?

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says, if he runs for President, that he will NOT kiss the ring of the extreme Right Wing of the Republican Party!

Well, Jeb, forget it then, as you will never win the GOP nomination, being that you are part of the so called “Establishment”! The Tea Party Right Wing extremists will fight you tooth and nail to prevent you being the GOP Presidential nominee!

Being more sympathetic to immigration reform will hurt Bush, as well as support for “Common Core” education, and just being a Bush will hurt as well!

Meanwhile, one of the most viable GOP potential nominees, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, has decided not to seek the Presidency in 2016, and instead run for reelection.

Portman would have had trouble anyway, being George W. Bush’s Budget Director as the deficit swelled; and also for the fact that he has come out for gay marriage, after his son revealed himself to be gay, making Portman one of only four Republican Senators to endorse gay marriage so far! But being from Ohio and being NOT a looney candidate, as so many potential Republicans are, he would have been a far better choice for President than many of them!

So we have lost two potential mainstream conservatives to the race for President–Bush, by his statements that he will not cater to the extremists; and Portman, for showing his belief that it would be unlikely he could win the nomination, and desirous, instead, of keeping his Senate seat!

So again, the question is: Is Governor John Kasich of Ohio ready to take the plunge, and give respectability to the GOP battle for the Presidency?

The Supreme Court At A Crossroads

With the news that Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had heart surgery to have a stent implanted, progressives shudder at thought of her possible demise at age 81.

A true liberal and champion of the downtrodden, Ginsburg refused to leave this summer, and now the US Senate is Republican controlled, so if something happens to her, the GOP will have major input into any Obama appointment to replace her, insuring the likelihood of, at best, a moderate appointee, no way as progressive as Ginsburg has been for the past 22 years.

It is clear that the next Presidential election will determine the long future of the Supreme Court, with the likelihood of multiple replacements of up to four Justices by 2020, including Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy, with all four being in their eighties by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, the Court has crucial decisions to make by this June, including another challenge to ObamaCare, and the issue of finally resolving the gay marriage issue, with 35 states now allowing it, but a court case trying to upend it and reverse it.

These two decisions, along with some others, will have a lot to do with the final level of success or failure of the Obama Presidency, and it all falls on the health of Ginsburg, along with the hoped for support of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Kennedy, to join the four liberals on the Court to uphold both ObamaCare and gay marriage!

So the Supreme Court and its reputation is on the line in 2015, and after the Citizens United Case and the Voting Rights Case, the Court needs to redeem itself in some fashion, and this is the turning point for the long term for the image of the Supreme Court!

Are We Entering An Age Of Older Presidents?

In American history, we have had only five Presidents who were 64 or older in office when inaugurated—Ronald Reagan, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, George H. W. Bush, and Zachary Taylor.

An additional five Presidents were ages 60-63 when inaugurated: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, but Truman and Ford were not elected at that age, but instead succeeded to the Oval Office.

This means 33 of our 43 Presidents were younger than 60 when being inaugurated President, with 24 in their 50s, and 9 in their 40s, and with Grover Cleveland in his 40s for his first term, and 50s for his second nonconsecutive term. The nine Presidents in their forties were, at the time of inauguration: James K. Polk and James A. Garfield (49); Franklin Pierce (48); Grover Cleveland and Barack Obama (47); Ulysses S. Grant and Bill Clinton (46); John F. Kennedy (43); and Theodore Roosevelt (42).

But it is now likely that the next President will be in his or her 60s, or even 70s, at the time of taking the Presidential oath. There are a total of eight potential Republican nominees in their 60s–ranging from, at the time of inauguration as follows: Mitt Romney (69); Rick Perry (66); Dr. Benjamin Carson (65); John Kasich (64); Jeb Bush (63); Mike Huckabee, Rob Portman, and Lindsey Graham (61). Romney and Perry would reach the age of 70 during a first term, and Romney, Perry, Carson, Kasich and Bush would all be in their 70s in a second term.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have four potential Presidential nominees who will be in their seventies when they would take the oath of office—Jerry Brown (78); Bernie Sanders (75); Joe Biden (74); and Jim Webb (70). All four, plus Hillary Clinton (69) and Elizabeth Warren (67) would reach the 70s during a first term, and Mark Warner (62) would reach 70 as well in a second term.

So a total of eight Republicans and seven Democrats would be over 70, either at the time of the inauguration, or within the next four years after, or the next eight years after!

When one realizes that only Dwight D. Eisenhower (70) and Ronald Reagan (77) were actually in the Presidency past their 70th birthday, and Ike was only three months beyond 70, it is clear that we are likely to create new ground, since much of the talent pool is comparatively old, and from the “Baby Boomer” generation born from 1946 onward.

Of course, there are younger Presidential candidates or potential candidates–for the Republicans–Rick Santorum (58); Mike Pence (57); Rand Paul and Chris Christie (54); and in the 40s in 2016, the following: Scott Walker (49); Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan (46); Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal (45), a total of nine other potential Presidents.

The Democrats have fewer alternatives: in the 50s in 2016 are: Andrew Cuomo (59); Amy Klobuchar (56); Martin O’Malley (54); and Kirsten Gillibrand (50). No one in their forties is seen as a potential Democratic nominee.

So we might end up with the oldest combination of Presidential candidates in American history, with Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney being front runners for now, and both reaching 70 within months of taking the oath of office!

The Biggest Winner From Republican Victories In Midterm Elections: Governor Scott Walker Of Wisconsin

Now that the dust has settled on the Midterm Elections of 2014, it is clear, at least for now, that the biggest winner from the results is Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Walker has now won the Governorship twice, in 2010 and 2014, along with a forced recall election in 2012, after he convinced the Republican controlled legislature to end collective bargaining with public employee unions, including teachers.

Despite his record of cutting education funding dramatically, and of refusal to accept Medicaid expansion for the poor of his state, Walker was able to overcome progressive forces who organized against him twice in two years.

Walker became linked with the Koch Brothers, and with voter suppression efforts, and became regarded by many on the progressive side, as the worst Tea Party Governor bar none, but still he won, and he now hints that he will seek the GOP Presidential nomination.

The question is whether he has enough clout and influence to mount a serious campaign, but it is clear that, in theory, he COULD win Wisconsin, if he ended up as the Republican Presidential nominee.

But to assume that he would have a real chance of winning the Presidency seems like an extremely long shot at this point!

The Republican “Insane Asylum” Rears Its Ugly Head!

The Republican Party is reveling in its midterm victories, but the victory will be short lived, as already, the GOP is self destructing in its reaction to the expected move of President Obama on immigration reform sometime soon.

Talk of impeachment of President Obama is rampant, along with threats to shut down the government once again, even though that was harmful to the Republicans, and hurt the American economy.

Obama is also infuriating right wingers with his plan to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, if the Senate approves the construction of this environmentally damaging project, which will create few jobs, and contradict treaties with native American tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota.

And potential Presidential candidates are acting as if they are patients in the “insane asylum”!

One example is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who advocates that we promote the kind of racial harmony that existed when Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were alive! Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and then the Christian Coalition, and Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina, did just the opposite of what Santorum claims, and makes us realize that Santorum is from a parallel universe!

Another example is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was perceived as moderate conservative in 2008, but then sold his soul by going to Fox News Channel, and has said reckless and dangerous things since. He is now on a speech tour stating that America is moving toward becoming Nazi Germany under Barack Obama!

Interesting and crazy statement, as it is precisely people like Santorum and Huckabee, and Fox News Channel, the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party Movement, who are moving us closer to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, with their reckless attacks on Obama.

And yet we thought that Obama was a Communist, a Socialist, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, a black power racist–and now, suddenly, he is on the other side of the political spectrum with Nazism and Fascism, even though he is African American, and Nazis and Fascists would be out to kill people of so called “inferior” races!

This demonstrates how nuts and looney the GOP is becoming, and they will discover that their extremism, racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia will destroy their Senate majority and chances for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond!