Republican Party

Classy Senator Barbara Mikulski Of Maryland To Retire After Longest Service Of Any Woman In Congressional History!

A true giant of the US Senate, willing to fight for her liberal beliefs over 40 years, Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, has announced her retirement in 2016, joining another outstanding woman Senator, Barbara Boxer of California, in choosing to retire.

Mikulski will have served five terms, 30 years in the Senate, the all time record, and also served ten years in the House, making her 40 years an all time record for women in Congress. She surpassed the 35 years of Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, Republican of Massachusetts, who served from 1925 to 1960 in the House of Representatives.

Along the way, Mikulski has “raised hell”, and always been there for her constituents, the average people of her state of Maryland, fighting the good fight as a leading progressive on all issues. She began her career as a community organizer, the same activity that Barack Obama was engaged in, and often ridiculed, which is horrible, as community organizers work with the poor. Why should anyone deplore such people, who truly commit themselves to those less fortunate? And yet, we live in a nation in 2015 where this is seen as a negative, rather than the positive impact that it has on those not privileged in our society!

The likelihood is that former Governor Martin O’Malley, who wants to be President, but has almost no chance to seek it now with Hillary Clinton far ahead in all polls and O’Malley hardly registering at all in the polls, will seek to go to the Senate. However, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Elijah Cummings, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards are likely to compete for the seat as well, with the latter two being African Americans.

The US And Israel: Support For Israel, But Not Benjamin Netanyahu!

The United States has been a strong supporter of Israel throughout the 67 year history of the Jewish nation, whether it has been Democratic or Republican Presidents in office, and that will not change, and should not change!

But that does not mean that our policies vis a vis Israel must always be in lockstep to every Israeli Prime Minister.

There have been disputes and differences between Israeli governments and American governments throughout the history of the relationship over strategies and tactics, but in all circumstances, when Israel has needed American support, it has been there from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, and that will continue.

Just like relatives, there have been and will be fights, sometimes even public, that are embarrassing, but occur, because that is the nature of families, and Israel and America are like one big family, with certain relatives very annoying in their assertion of their personalities on the overall relationship.

But when crisis arises, when so called “push come to shove”, family is together, and that includes the assurance that America will always be there for Israel at crucial moments. And one must remember that it is Barack Obama who has provided more funding for the IRON DOME system, which has been used by Israel to protect its security with its dangerous neighbors, including Palestinian terrorists.

This moment, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coming to the US to speak to a joint session of Congress without advanced approval of President Obama, and with Netanyahu long a public and private critic of President Obama, and in cahoots with the Republicans in Congress, is not good. With Speaker of the House John Boehner breaking the Logan Act, which bans private diplomacy of anyone outside the executive branch of government, a law passed in 1798 and updated in 1994, only adds to the problem.

Yes, the threat of Iran is present, but it is not an imminent threat, and the attempt of the US, along with Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China to negotiate on nuclear issues is worthy of follow through to see if Iran is willing to accept the idea of no nuclear weapons development.

If Iran reneges on such an agreement, then Israel would be backed in any potential confrontation with Iran. But the need to TRY to avoid another Middle East War, which would lead to more deaths and destruction in Israel, and make the area ever more dangerous, is worth a try to avoid war, before committing to a war that would be devastating to the entire area.

The US would be engaged in another major war, and not an easily won war, but the world would see the reality of Iran, if they reject an agreement with the six major powers.

Netanyahu has been known to lie and exaggerate, so it is worth a chance for peace, and avoidance of war, and that is why many Jewish Democrats in Congress are boycotting this speech on Tuesday, and it is why many Jewish organizations and spokesmen are condemning the speech, and calling for its delay until after the elections in Israel in two weeks.

A good solution to all this would be the defeat of Netanyahu and his Likud Party, much too ready to go to war, when peace should be tried first!

The CPAC Convention: Display Of Delusional Thinking And A Comedy Of Would Be Presidents!

The Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland this weekend has been a revelation of delusional thinking, as well as a comedy of Would Be Presidents!

A conference that has Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, both supposed candidates for the White House, but just wanting attention, makes it worthy of ridicule from the beginning.

A conference that has elected Rand Paul as their favorite in a straw poll three years in a row, when there is zero chance of his being the Republican nominee, is a conference not worthy of any more attention, other than how Saturday Night Live treats it for laughs.

A conference that has a candidate, Scott Walker, who compares marchers for retention of labor rights to the fighting of terrorism is a conference that is clueless and insulting of the vast majority of America’s population, which are workers, not corporate leaders.

A conference that has retreads such as Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Perry desperately trying to get notice and to make themselves relevant is quite pitiful.

A conference that has two totally inexperienced candidates, Dr. Benjamin Carson and corporate leader Carly Fiorina, thinking they should be President, when we have never had a President or Presidential candidate with no political experience on the ballot, except for Wendell Willkie in 1940, is a sign of how little the people involved in this conference understand reality in a complex world.

A conference that allows propagandists who claim to be journalists, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, to be the interviewers of Presidential candidates, making them totally lacking in any credibility, is a conference that should be seen as something not worthy of serious consideration.

A conference that demonstrates intolerance toward women, immigrants, minorities, and gays and lesbians is a conference that has no desire to unite the American people, but rather to divide them, and fail to recognize the impending changes in the population long term, that dooms their agenda!

The Republican House Of Representatives Implodes: The Tea Party Is Destroying Congress!

Speaker of the House John Boehner has again been smacked down by the extremist right wing Tea Party caucus, about 50 members who so hate Barack Obama and everything he stands for and represents, that they are ready to bring down the government, and undermine the Department of Homeland Security created during the George W. Bush Administration in the aftermath of September 11!

Boehner must either join with Democrats to bring about the funding of this crucial government agency, with the rest of the Republican majority, OR he must resign in disgrace, as he has already proved totally unable to deal with the extremists who do not care about the heritage and traditions of the Republican Party in its 161 year history!

This nation cannot allow ourselves to be taken hostage by a group, which in its intentions, is no better than anarchists or terrorists, ready to take down the institutions of government if they cannot get their way, their desire to take us from the 21st century to the 19th century!

The House of Representatives, the “People’s Branch”, has become unable to accomplish what such a body is designed to do, govern effectively and do the business of the people!

We are in the midst of a revolution, the greatest crisis for the Speakership since the “Revolution of 1910″ against Speaker Joseph Cannon, stripping him of much of his absolute powers, and democratizing the House operations. Something on that level seems essential now to take away power from this anarchistic, but also Fascist in orientation, cabal of 50 members who will stop at nothing to destroy effective government!

This crisis has been delayed a week by the last minute action of the House to allow a one week extension of the Homeland Security budget, but the same struggle will face us on March 6!

Scott Walker’s War On Labor: Returning To The 1920s And Gilded Age!

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, for now the leader in some polls for the Republican Presidential nomination, has declared war on labor unions and worker rights in Wisconsin, ramming legislation through the Wisconsin legislature, allowing employers to refuse to deal with labor unions representing private workers, just as he did the same earlier with public employee labor unions.

By warring against labor unions and labor rights, Walker is denying the many benefits that unions brought to Americans workers, beginning in the era of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is precisely the cause of the rise of the middle class over the next fifty years, followed by a rapid decline in labor union strength beginning with the administration of Ronald Reagan, and his war on the air traffic controllers, which endangered public safety along with encouraging more so called “right to work” laws that undermine worker rights, benefits, and working conditions.

Walker is promoting the idea that we should return to the 1920s and the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, when workers had no rights, and unions were met with National Guard intervention and strike breakers and high levels of violence and bloodshed!

Walker is showing us what a bully he is, and how dangerous his candidacy really is, and he must be bitterly opposed by all who care about the future of working people in this nation!

Reverting nearly a century and more back in time is NOT an option in the 21st century!

Marco Rubio Faces Problems In Presidential Bid And Florida Senate Reelection Contest

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is not having good tidings lately, as he considers whether to run for President in 2016, or seek a second Senate term.

Florida does not allow a candidate to be on the ballot for two political races, so Rubio must decide his future.

At this point, polls indicate he is way behind fellow Floridian Jeb Bush for support, even within the Sunshine State, among Republicans for the Presidential nomination.

Rubio has alienated many Tea Party types and others in the Republican Party for having worked for immigration reform, and then backing away from it under harsh criticism by the Republican right wing base.

Rubio has also indicated frustration being a United States Senator, and he faces a potential threat from a number of Democrats for his seat, whether he runs again for it or chooses to leave the Senate to run for President.

Democratic National Chairwoman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Patrick Murphy, and believe it or not, former Governor Charlie Crist, and even Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, are all seen as interested in the race, and Rubio cannot count on South Florida for support, with three South Floridians, including comparatively moderate Murphy, potentially running.

Of course, there would be major fireworks in a Democratic primary, with both Wasserman Schultz and Crist having antagonized many while serving in government and running for office, which might give Murphy an advantage, and possibly even Levine, a comparative newcomer to politics like Murphy is, as well.

The Phenomenon Of Retread Politicians Who Look For Publicity, Relevance, And The Presidency!

The recent comments of former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani wondering if Barack Obama loves America, causing a firestorm of criticism and putting potential Republican Presidential candidates on the spot as to what to respond to these comments, reminds us that America has a list of retread politicians, many of whom have been out of public office for very long periods of time, but feel a need to look for publicity and relevance, and want to be President.

Guiliani has been out of office since 2001, and flopped badly when he tried for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008.

But now we have “retread” politicians who wish to be President, after long periods of not having run for office, including Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and even, possibly, former New York Governor George Pataki, although no one takes that seriously.

The question is whether being out of the loop for nearly a decade or more causes voters to wonder about their viability, and the upcoming Republican Presidential race will test that matter.

Presidents Who Were Fortunate To Become President Since 1900!

Today is Presidents Day. There is a tendency to look back on the Presidency’s history, and assume that those who made it to the White House were a certainty, when the opposite is, actually, often the case!

Since 1900, many of our Presidents gained that office by pure luck and timing.

Theodore Roosevelt would never have been President if Vice President Garret Hobart, under President William McKinley, had not died in office in 1899, and therefore, not on the ticket with McKinley in 1900.

Woodrow Wilson would never have been President if the Republican Party had not split in 1912 between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt, and if there had not been a two thirds rule for the Democratic nominee in place, preventing Speaker of the House Champ Clark from being the Democratic nominee for President.

Richard Nixon would never have been President if the Democratic Party had not divided over Vietnam in the mid 1960s, and if George Wallace would not have run as a third party candidate in 1968.

Gerald Ford would never have been President if Vice Spiro Agnew had not been caught in corruption, forcing his resignation in 1973, and if there was no 25th Amendment, providing for a replacement Vice President by appointment of the President and approval by a majority of both houses of Congress.

Jimmy Carter would never have been President if the Watergate Scandal had not occurred, disillusioning many Americans about their national government, and finding a state governor as an appealing alternative, with his image as an “outsider” who would always tell the truth.

Bill Clinton would never have been President if the economy had not declined as it did in 1992, and if Ross Perot had not run on a third party line in that election, undermining George H. W. Bush.

George W. Bush would never have been President if the Supreme Court had not intervened, a revolutionary action, to stop the vote recount in Florida in 2000, with the reality that Al Gore had more than a half million popular vote lead nationally, and yet would lose the Presidency because of that action by the Supreme Court.

This list also does not include Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson, all of whom would never have been President if Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy had not died in office.

Obama And The Anti War Cabinet: First In American History In Modern Times!

This week, when President Barack Obama spoke before journalists about his wish for a Congressional resolution to give him limited authority to expand war against ISIL (ISIS), he surrounded himself with two former Democratic Senators and one former Republican Senator, who made up his top cabinet advisers in the past two years—Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

As Senators from Delaware, Massachusetts, and Nebraska, these three former Senators were clearly skeptical about war resolutions. Biden voted against the Persian Gulf War Resolution in 1991, and all three were critics of the Iraq War and how it evolved. Also, Kerry and Hagel were Vietnam War veterans who were always skeptical about war prosecution by different Presidents.

In many ways, one could say that the four men, including President Obama, make up the most anti war group ever to govern together, and this is refreshing, as all four, while seeing the need to fight against ISIL (ISIS), do not wish to send combat troops back to the Middle East, after failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have caused 6,500 deaths combined, over 30,000 wounded veterans, and a reality that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become a major problem, with 22 veterans every day committing suicide, and hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans.

The American people have made clear in polls that while they are ready to fight ISIL (ISIS), they have no desire to become engaged in a long, drawn out war with American troops fighting and dying, when it should be the people of the area to fight to protect themselves, with appropriate American financial aid and weapons, but not large numbers of American troops committed to a ground war that goes on endlessly!

Meanwhile, there is the pro war element in the Republican Party, led by Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, with much of the party joining their war chants, but with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul representing the anti war group, that wishes to avoid major ground troop involvement, setting up a major conflict within the GOP for the next Presidential election.

Nixon, Bush Domination Of Republican Party 1952-2016: Unprecedented In American History!

It is truly amazing how two names–Nixon and Bush—have so dominated the Republican Party over the past two thirds of a century from 1952-2016.

If one had to bet right now on who the GOP Presidential nominee will be in 2016, it clearly would be Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, who is raking up large amounts of money to win the funding race for the Republican Party.

Were that to happen, it would mark the SEVENTH time that a Bush family member was on the national ballot for the Republican Party since 1980—seven out of ten potential times—four times for George H. W. Bush, twice as Vice Presidential nominee, and twice as Presidential nominee—two times for his son George W. Bush, as Presidential nominee—and now Jeb as potential Presidential nominee in 2016.

Additionally, Richard Nixon was on the national ballot five times—twice as Vice Presidential nominee, and three times as Presidential nominee.

Only one other person, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt managed to be on the national ballot five times–as Vice Presidential nominee in 1920 and losing, and as Presidential nominee four times and winning in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944.

Remember that the Bush name has been triumphant each time till now, except 1992, and the Nixon name was triumphant also each time, except 1960. And one could argue that many observers think Nixon actually won in 1960, and that the John F. Kennedy victory was accomplished through fraud in Chicago by Mayor Richard J. Daley. And one could argue that George H. W. Bush would have won in 1992, had Ross Perot not been on the ballot as a strong third alternative to Bush and Bill Clinton.

So if Jeb Bush ends up as the GOP Presidential nominee in 2016, it would mean that a total of TWELVE times out of seventeen national elections had a Bush or Nixon on the national ballot. And imagine if he were to become President, and win two terms, as that would mean by the end of 2024, we would have EIGHT times that a Bush was on the national ballot, and a total of 32 years out of the last 44–talking about dominance! And behind Jeb is his son, George P. Bush of Texas, who was just elected Land Commissioner, and would be 48 by election time in 2024, and carries a famous name!

And the other five times—Barry Goldwater in 1964, Gerald Ford in 1976, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012—–the Republicans lost the Presidency!