Robert Byrd

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell A Traitor To American Values And National Security, And Will Be A Leading Villain In American History!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will go down in history as a traitor to American values and national security, and be seen as a leading villain in American history.

When one compares him to other Senate Majority Leaders, including:

Democrats Alben Barkley, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mike Mansfield, Robert Byrd, George Mitchell, and Tom Daschle

and Republicans Howard Baker and Bob Dole

McConnell pales by comparison.

The fact that his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, is in the Trump Cabinet, is in itself a massive example of corruption and conflict of interest.

But beyond that, McConnell denied President Barack Obama his right to have a Supreme Court Justice nominee, Merrick Garland, to be considered for the Court in 2016.

McConnell has also refused to allow any strengthening of voter security to prevent a Russian government collusion in our election system, as occurred in 2016.

McConnell has also been involved with Russian businessmen investing in Kentucky industrial projects, a clear cut example of treason.

McConnell has made clear that if a Supreme Court appointment occurs in the election year of 2020, he will allow such an appointment, after NOT allowing it in 2016.

McConnell has not allowed votes on House of Representatives bills, with the ability to vote them down, but not even allowing a vote on so much potential legislation, in order to avoid the Republicans in the Senate from putting their careers on the line by actually having to vote to prevent reforms of all kinds.

McConnell’s major goals has been to enrich the top one percent with tax cuts; to destroy all regulations possible on business and industry and destroy as much of the Great Society programs of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and to pack the federal courts with extremist right wing judges, many of them incompetent, who wish to destroy civil rights, organized labor, consumer rights, environmental regulations, women’s rights; and other progressive causes and laws, wiping out all fairness and movements towards social justice and equality.

11,037 House Members And 1,983 Senate Members Since 1789

In the 230 plus years that Congress has been in existence since March 4, 1789, we have had 11,037 people serve in the House of Representatives, and 1,983 people serve in the US Senate.

10,360 members served only in the House of Representatives, while 1,306 members served only in the US Senate, and 677 members have served in both bodies of Congress.

29 members of the House of Representatives have served 40 or more years, with John Dingell of Michigan serving the longest, 59 years from 1955 to 2015.

16 Women in the House of Representatives have served 25 or more years, with Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, having served 36 plus years since 1983, the longest of any woman, and still serving, with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, being the third longest serving at nearly 32 years and counting from California since 1987.

25 US Senators have served 35 and a half years or more, with Robert Byrd of West Virginia serving nearly 51 and a half years from 1959 to 2010. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii served nearly 50 years from 1963 to 2012, while Strom Thurmond of South Carolina served 47 and a half years and was past age 100 when he left the Senate. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts served 46 years and more than 9 months from 1962 to 2009. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, still in the Senate, is 5th longest serving at 44 plus years since 1975.

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.

No Comparison Between David Duke And Robert Byrd! Or For That Matter, Hugo Black, George C. Wallace, Or Strom Thurmond!

A massive controversy has arisen over the initial refusal of Donald Trump to repudiate the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke of Louisiana, who ran for Governor 25 years ago, and later for the US Senate as a Republican, losing both times, and being denounced by President George H. W. Bush and other reputable Republican leaders in the 1990s.

Those defending Trump’s hesitation are now comparing the despicable hate monger David Duke, who is not only a racist but also an anti Semite of a major order, to the late Democratic US Senator Robert Byrd, who served longer in the Senate than anyone in American history (from 1959 to his death in 2010).

No one is saying that Byrd cannot be criticized, as he was a youthful member of the Klan in West Virginia, and opposed the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.  But over time, he evolved, and repudiated his despicable past, and even supported Barack Obama in 2008 for the nomination and election as President, and helped to make ObamaCare make a successful journey through the legislative process, including being brought in a wheel chair to cast votes for the legislation, in his last months of life.

David Duke has never done anything to repudiate his past record, and is still defiant as a racist and anti Semite, unlike Byrd.

Also, former Alabama Senator Hugo Black sat on the Supreme Court for 34 years (1937-1971), repudiating by his words and actions the fact that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his youth.

Also, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, after running racist campaigns for President in 1968 and 1972, repudiated his past and apologized, although he was never, actually, a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Even Strom Thurmond, who ran as  a racist for President in 1948, and served in the US Senate from South Carolina from 1954-2003,  later modified his views, even if not formally apologizing for his earlier behavior and statements.

No one is saying that we cannot criticize Byrd, Black, Wallace, and Thurmond, but none of them were on the level lifetime on racism and anti Semitism of David Duke, so the comparison is preposterous!

Longest Serving US Senators In American History, Six Terms And More!

25 United States Senators have served six terms or close to 36 years out of 1, 963 individuals who have served in the upper body of Congress.

17 0f these 25 served as Democrats, with 8 serving as Republicans.

11 come from the South, with 9 being Democrats, and only 2 being Republicans.

Longevity does not, necessarily, mean greatness in history, as many of the 25 are far from standouts in their years in the US Senate.

The most memorable in history would include Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar and Claiborne Pell.

Others that would stand out for their long range influence would include Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, John Stennis, Richard Russell, Russell Long, and James Eastland, but all are seen as primarily negative forces holding back progress on civil rights.

Others with more positive significance but not seen as “stars” would include Daniel Inouye, Carl Hayden, Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Warren Magnuson.

Others that are seen as noteworthy but not likely to be remembered much in the long run of  history would include Ted Stevens, Ernest Hollings, Thad Cochran, and Pete Domenici.

The remaining five are all forgettable Senators, dealing with their states’ constituent needs, but having little impact beyond that including Francis Warren, Kenneth McKellar, Milton Young, Ellison Smith, and Allen Ellender.

Also, three from the list of 25 are from Mississippi (Stennis, Eastland, Cochran); three from South Carolina (Thurmond, Hollings, Smith); and two from Louisiana (Long, Ellender).

Additionally, states with small populations and only one Congressman, have Senators on the list, including Vermont (Leahy); Alaska (Stevens); Wyoming (Warren); Delaware (Biden); and North Dakota (Young).

Only two “larger” populated states have a Senator on the list, including Massachusetts (Kennedy) and Michigan (Levin)

Finally, only 8 Senators have served 40 or more years, in order as follows: Robert Byrd, Daniel Inouye, Strom Thurmond, Ted Kennedy, Carl Hayden, John Stennis, Patrick Leahy (still serving), and Ted Stevens, with only Byrd serving more than 50 years!

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

The Urgent Need For A Younger United States Senate

The United States Senate, by its very nature, is an undemocratic body, as all states are equal in membership, two Senators per state, whether the population of California (38 million people) or Wyoming (575,000 people)!

So we have the ability of “small state” Senators to wield great power and influence, and stand in the way of what is best for the nation at large!

The filibuster is one such mechanism that can prevent progress and action, and helps to make the US Senate a body that, much more often, applies the brakes on legislation, rather than speed action on such legislation.

The Senate has become much more undemocratic than anyone ever envisioned in the 18th century, as no one could know that in 2013, eleven states would have the majority of electoral votes needed to elect the President, and that nine states would have a majority of the entire population of the United States!

Nothing can be done about this reality, and there are no term limits, and some Senators have served 30 or more years, with the record being Robert Byrd and his 52 years in the US Senate from West Virginia!

But more troubling than the lack of term limits is the reality of older Senators being dominant, wielding great power as heads of committees, or being ranking members of such committees, at an age when most Americans are either retired or cutting down work hours dramatically!

When Senator Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the Senate, died at age 89, Senator Diane Feinstein of California became the oldest member of the Senate, and became 80 years of age last weekend.

So at present, with Feinstein at age 80, there are 21 US Senators in their 70s, 35 in their 60s, 30 in their 50s, 12 in their 40s, and 1 in his 30s.

The idea that 57 Senators are over age 60, when most people are moving toward retirement, is alarming, and the Senate has become an institution out of touch with the typical American who is in the mid to late 30s on the average, but being represented by senior citizens who do not have the ability to adapt as readily to change as is required in the modern world of government!

There should be some kind of age limit, whereby a person cannot run for the Senate (a six year term) beyond the age of 69, meaning that person would leave the Senate no later than age 75!

Many would call this age discrimination, but the ability of government to deal with modern challenges would seem to demand such a limit, not that it is possible to believe that such a limit would be realistically possible to achieve any time soon, if ever!

Since very few Americans, even if retired, work full time at age 75, it would seem appropriate to establish such an age limit, more than limiting actual total terms of a US Senator.

But again, this is just a suggestion to consider, and unlikely to be reality at any point in the future, a sad situation, indeed!

Congressman John Dingell Of Michigan Becomes Longest Serving Member Of Congress In History On June 7!

Michigan Congressman John Dingell becomes the longest serving member of Congress in American history on June 7, having served over 57 years, and about 21,000 days, and 25,000 votes.

The nearly 87 year old Congressman won a special election to replace his father. who had passed away.

Dingell will break the record of longevity of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

The Congress will celebrate the event on June 13, when there will be a ceremony in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol, honoring Dingell.

This is an event unlikely to be surpassed, although one cannot be sure of what the future might hold, as to another Congressional member breaking the record!

Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye Dies After 50 Years Service, Age 88

The second longest serving United States Senator in all of American history, Hawaii Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye, died this afternoon at age 88, after 50 years of service.

Only West Virginia Democratic Senator Robert Byrd served longer, a total of 52 years, with South Carolina Republican Senator Strom Thurmond serving about 48 years, but less than Inouye, and Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy serving 47 plus years before his death.

Inouye is easily the most famous Japanese American politician in American history, and was injured fighting in Italy in World War II, at a time when Japanese Americans were being interned in prison camps because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He lost an arm to the war, but was always proud of his service in units that won more medals, honors and awards than any others in the Second World War. Inouye won the Medal of Honor for his service.

He is the most important person in promotion of the University of Hawaii, and of the cause of veterans, both disabled and otherwise.

As the senior member of the Senate in the past few years, Inouye served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, which put him third in line to be President, behind the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

A man of courage and strong principles, Inouye will be remembered as a Senator who made a real difference!

He served as Hawaii’s first Congressman beginning in 1959, and came to the Senate in 1962 at the same time Ted Kennedy came to the upper chamber.

Inouye served on the Watergate and Iran Contra committees, and was long time chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He did a great deal to bring federal aid to Hawaii, and to promote the advancement of native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Filipino Americans, and native Americans, and was a major promoter of transportation projects and of education. There was never a better advocate of the Hawaiian Islands than him.

May he rest in peace, having done a great job serving his constituents!

Finally, Congressional Gold Medals To Japanese American Veterans Of World War II!

Seventy years ago next December 7, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, forcing America into World War II.

Among the victims of the Japanese attack were approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans who were placed into internment camps for the duration of the war, because of their ethnicity.

But their sons served honorably in World War II and contributed mightily to the victory over both Japan and Germany, with a segregated unit winning more medals, honors and awards than any other unit of World War II.

Now, Congress has seen fit, as of November 2, to honor the veterans who served and those who died through the awarding of Congressional Gold Medals in a ceremony in the US Capitol Visitor Center, presided over by Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The most touching moment was the speech of Senate President Pro Tem Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who has served longer in the Senate than anyone but the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

Wounded seriously in World War II, and recuperating in a hospital alongside former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, Inouye went on to become the most famous Asian American politician in the history of Congress, and if he serves in office until June 29, 2014, he will have become the longest serving senator in US history, surpassing Senator Byrd.

On Veterans Day, it is appropriate that we honor and commemorate those heroic Japanese American soldiers who did their duty despite their families being interned, as they fought for freedom and democracy!