Republican Party

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

Trump Security Costs In Trump Tower To Require 100 Secret Service Agents Involved And $1 Million Cost Per Day, Or $1.5 Billion Over Four Years, At Taxpayer Expense!

With Donald Trump’s insistence that he plans to spend a lot of time in Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan over the next four years, rather than being full time at the White House and sometimes at his Palm Beach, Florida estate, the security costs for him, his wife and his son Barron, will be astronomical, with taxpayers footing the bill, and many of the estimated 100 Secret Service agents and support staff staying at Trump hotels, with Trump gaining profit from it all!

This is outrageous, as never has any President not desired to live full time in the White House, since John Adams first inhabited it in the fall of 1800. And the idea that his wife and son will be in Manhattan until at least the end of the school term in June 2017, is another added cost because of their constant presence there.

The cost will be at least $1 million per day, meaning about $1.5 billion over the next four years, and if Trump, when traveling abroad, decides he will only stay at Trump properties in foreign nations, that will increase the cost of his security detail, as it means many of the usual locations for Presidents to stay at overseas will be bypassed. And of course, the support staff costs at these Trump properties will be making money for Trump while he is President.

Anyone who is fair minded would argue this is unacceptable, but when and how will anyone tell the President that what he wants is not acceptable?

This is abuse of power, and it will magnify in so many ways over the next four years, including his present refusal to take himself out of his properties and their management and earnings through a blind trust, as Trump says he sees no issue, and only a Republican Congress could mandate otherwise, and that looks highly unlikely. There is more chance of an asteroid hitting the earth soon than Trump being prevented from doing what he wants.

In a way, he is not the incoming President, but instead an Emperor in his own mind!

Donald Trump: A “Third Party” President Masquerading As A Republican? Is He A Distorted Version Of Ross Perot?

A new way of looking at Donald Trump is that he is really a “third party” outsider who is masquerading as a Republican, and is trying to make the party he has taken captive over in his own image.

The question is whether this will work, or will the Republican Party divide into factions?

So far, it seems as if many recalcitrant Republicans are trying to make peace with Trump, but once the administration begins on January 20, the odds are good that Trump will alienate many, once he abandons ideas that many think he will pursue, and starts to sound something like a Democrat in some fashion.

Remember that Trump has a longer association with Democratic ideas than Republican, and used to support and endorse Bill and Hillary Clinton, and financially support many Democrats in their Congressional races.

Trump is so mercurial and unpredictable that trying to imagine good results and stability in his Presidency is extremely hard to imagine.

In a way, Trump is like Ross Perot, almost the extension of what Perot attempted in 1992 and 1996, but without the stability and strong convictions that at least Perot had.

Who would ever have thought that Perot magnified and made into a monster would emerge a quarter century after Perot entered politics?

Hillary Clinton Popular Vote Lead At Over 2 Million, As Evidence Of Voter Irregularities Rises In Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, And Even Florida!

This morning, we learn that Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead over Donald Trump is over 2 million and counting, four times the popular vote lead of Al Gore over George W. Bush in 2000.

Hillary Clinton has a greater popular vote lead than John F. Kennedy in 1960, Richard Nixon in 1978 and Jimmy Carter in 1976.

And now, there is growing evidence of voter irregularities in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, as well as questions about how Hillary Clinton had such a popular vote lead in early voting, including 27 percent of Republicans, in Florida, and then, magically loses the Sunshine State. Evidence of fixing and hacking, maybe by Russian intervention, seems possible.

Was this election rigged, as Donald Trump claimed it would be, but in his favor, rather than against him?

Are we having the Presidency stolen, as many thought in 2000, by Republican led state governments, as in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida, although not so in Pennsylvania?

Will we ever know for sure, and is there any point, two weeks after the election, to contest it, and create an uproar, or should we all move on and accept the inevitable, President Elect Donald Trump?

This author is torn, but at this point, with two weeks to absorb the immensity of what has happened, it seems, somehow, pointless to pursue a law suit, as all it will do is further “poison the well”, so to speak.

This is said with a heavy heart and great sadness, but it is time to move on, it seems to me, and allow Trump whatever “honeymoon” he may have, wish him the best, and be ready to challenge him, as it is certain will happen soon, and on a regular basis, over the next four years, and hope for the best in a terrible situation.

Four New Women Senators, And Now Total Of 21

In 2017, there will be 4 new women Senators and a grand total of 21, an all time high, up by one.

The four new women Senators are all Democrats, and altogether, there will be 16 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

California replaces Barbara Boxer, retired, with Kamala Harris, who is multi racial—a mother born in India, and her father being a Jamaican American from the Caribbean island—replacing Boxer, after having been Attorney General for six years.

Tammy Duckworth, who had been a Congresswoman from Illinois, replaced Senator Mark Kirk, and she is Asian American, born to a white American father and a Thai-Chinese mother in Thailand. She served in the military for 22 years, and was seriously wounded in the Iraq War, losing both legs and damaging her right arm.

Catherine Cortez Masto replaced Harry Reid, retiring, in Nevada. She was Attorney General of Nevada from 2007-2015. She is Latina with a Mexican American father and an Italian-American mother.

Maggie Hassan, the Governor of New Hampshire, defeated Senator Kelly Ayotte for her seat. She served two two year terms as Governor, after having served in the state legislature for three two year terms.

Which Republican Senators Might Stop Republican Agenda On Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid And Other Issues In Domestic And Foreign Policy?

With the Republican Party in full control of both houses of Congress again, although with smaller margins, one wonders what Republican Senators might ignore party lines at times, and fight against Donald Trump on changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other issues, including nominations, and domestic and foreign policy actions that are feared by many people, including not only Democrats but moderate conservative Republicans and some conservative intellectuals.

All that would be needed to stop actions would be three Republican Senators, along with the 48 Democrats in the Senate, with the filibuster a weapon that could be used by Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Which Republicans might be willing to buck the party and Donald Trump on specific issues?

At the top of the list would be Susan Collins of Maine, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Others who might join these two women would be Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The problem is that there is no certainty that any of these nine Senators will prove to be a “profile in courage”.

Would Mitt Romney Work For Donald Trump As Secretary Of State?

The mere suggestion that Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, who vehemently opposed Donald Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, will be visiting with Trump, and might agree to be his Secretary of State, is mind blowing.

Romney is the most credible nominee for any post yet to be rumored to be a possible cabinet member for Trump, but it is hard to imagine that Romney would actually be offered such a position, or would agree to such appointment.

The two men are temperamentally exact opposites, and Romney ran his campaign in 2012 warning us how dangerous Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, were, while Donald Trump has praised Putin, and suggested a bromance with the Russian leader.

How would Romney reconcile that difference, and how would Trump do the same?

Romney would add some badly needed stature to the Trump cabinet, but what would he get out of it, other than being mistreated by a boss who would be looking forward to firing him, or forcing him to resign over policy differences?

How would Romney overcome National Security Adviser nominee Michael Flynn’s close association and impact on President Trump?

And why would Romney want to give up his close family activities, and spend, if he survived in office, the next four years doing the toughest job in the world, in regards to stress and constant travel, such as a million miles in four years, as occurred with Hillary Clinton, and close to that mileage, if not more, for John Kerry?

Trump, The Most Repudiated Presidential Nominee In American History, Starts Off With Controversial Appointees

Donald Trump not only is the most unpopular President in American history in public opinion polls before his election, and not only in the popular vote margin of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, nearing one million and counting, but also in the total repudiation of his candidacy by:

Republicans who refused to endorse and support him
Conservatives who also refused to endorse and support him
Economists who warned against his election, as dangerous to the economy
Historians who warned against his election, looking at history
Defense and Security personnel who thought he was dangerous
Diplomatic personnel who were alarmed at his nomination
Newspapers that were traditionally Republican and conservative endorsing his opponent
Foreign Governments alarmed by his candidacy

Now all of these opponents must come to grips with the fact that Donald Trump is our President Elect, and alarm is spreading, as Trump has announced Stephen Bannon as his Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the White House, despite his misogyny, racism, nativism, antisemitism, islamophobia, homophobia and white supremacy views.

Trump also is considering neocon John Bolton, a highly abrasive personality, who was a controversial recess appointment as UN Ambassador under George W. Bush, to be Secretary of State, with the leading alternative being abrasive and egotistical former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York!

National Popular Vote Bill A Major Electoral College Reform That Can Overcome 5 Times Where Popular Vote Winner Has Lost Presidency

In the midst of the great disillusionment over having a popular vote winner losing the Presidency for the second time in 16 years, and 5 times in American history, attention is being brought to a method to overcome that travesty without the need for a constitutional amendment to end the Electoral College.

11 states with 165 electoral votes have passed legislation that provides that their states’ electoral votes will go to the national winner of the popular vote.

The bill has passed one house in 12 additional states with 96 electoral votes, and would take place once states with a total of 105 electoral votes take such action.

It passed overwhelmingly in three Republican chambers, in Arizona, Oklahoma and New York, and in one Democratic chamber in Oregon.

More than 70 percent in polls on the topic support this change in the Electoral College, as a true example of democracy, so that never again do we have the horrible situation that has now occurred twice in a generation.

We would have a true national campaign every four years if this was enacted, instead of having only about 12 states gaining visits by the major party Presidential candidates.

Why should North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Nevada. along with a few other states, have the privilege of crowds being able to see the Presidential candidates, while, for example, New York, Texas, California, Illinois, and other states with large populations are denied visits, along with many other states?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former Congressman Bob Barr, both of Georgia, both Republicans, have endorsed the change, even though each of the five times the popular vote winner in American history was a Democrat, and four times the Republicans won without the popular vote! So they have displayed bipartisanship on this issue.

This needs to be accomplished before 2020! There needs to be a national demand by the American people that the present situation never happens again!

The Electoral College Fails For The Fifth Time, With Democrats The Losers All 5 Times: 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, 2016

The Electoral College has failed for the fifth time, and twice in 16 years.

The same thing happened in 2000, with Al Gore, and in 1888 with Grover Cleveland, and in 1876 with Samuel Tilden, and in 1824 with Andrew Jackson.

Each of these four times, and now with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote to their opponent, with each candidate who won the Presidency, except John Quincy Adams in 1824 (National Republican) being a Republican–Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000, and now Donald Trump in 2016.

To imagine it would happen 16 years apart (2000 and 2016) after having occurred 12 years apart (1876 and 1888) makes the urgency to change the Electoral College, but it has been attempted before and has failed.

So we are stuck with the reality that this can happen again and again, sadly!