Seattle

Democratic Victories In Virginia, New Jersey, And Elsewhere Sign Of Repudiation Of Trump, And Beginning Of Impeachment Move

Yesterday was a glorious day for Democrats across the board.

Ralph Northam won the Virginia Governorship, and the Democrats also won the Lieutenant Governorship and State Attorney Generalship, as as well as switch the control of the House Of Delegates in a massive defeat for Republicans. The Lieutenant Governor is Justin Fairfax, first African American in that position in Virginia history.

A transgender woman in Virginia defeated a rabid homophobe for a seat in the House of Delegates. And the boyfriend of a woman murdered on live television in 2015, ran on the gun issue and won a seat in the House of Delegates in her memory. Two Latinas were also elected to the House of Delegates, as well as a Vietnamese Asian American woman for the first time in Virginia.

New Jersey saw the repudiation of Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor, by Democrat Phil Murphy. And an African American woman was elected Lieutenant Governor.

Maine expanded Medicaid over the objections of right wing bully Republican Governor Paul Le Page.

New Hampshire saw Manchester’s Mayoralty fall to the Democratic nominee.

Minneapolis, Minnesota City Council saw the election of a transgender African American woman.

St. Paul, Minnesota and Helena, Montana elected African Americans to the Mayoralty of both cities, a first for both .

Charlotte, North Carolina Mayoralty went to an African American woman.

Two small cities in Georgia elected an African American woman Mayor, and two African American men won that office, one in a city in Georgia, and one in South Carolina.

Hoboken, New Jersey elected a man of the Sikh religion as its Mayor.

A woman was elected Nassau County, New York (on Long Island) County Executive for the first time, and a rare case of a Democrat winning that position.

The State Senate in Washington State went to a Democratic majority, making the entire Pacific Coast “Blue”, in California, Oregon and Hawaii, along with Washington State.

City Mayors, all Democrats, were reelected in New York City, Boston, and Detroit and a lesbian Mayor elected in Seattle, among other places.

Growing numbers of incumbent Republicans are deciding not to run for reelection, creating more open seats and making likelihood of Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in 2018 much more likely.

Suburban areas across the nation are growing more Democratic on paper, after massive victories all over the nation.

Northern Virginia has become more powerful in numbers and percentage, overcoming southern and western sections of Virginia, making Virginia clearly a Blue State in the future.

With many Republicans now planning to retire, expect more criticism of Donald Trump, and a growing shift toward impeachment of Trump, since retiring politicians have an independence not seen otherwise, so just as John McCain. Jeff Flake. and Bob Corker have come out against Trump, more can be expected in both houses of Congress.

And for many Republicans who remain, they may prefer Mike Pence in the White House when they are running for reelection, and since Trump shows no loyalties to the party which gave him their nomination, why should they feel an obligation to support him through thick and thin?

Donald Trump And North Korea

The latest reports about Donald Trump indicate plans to resolve the North Korean problem in an extreme way that could lead to nuclear war.

One plan is to send nuclear missiles to South Korea, upping the ante of possible nuclear war directly on the population of North Korea, but 25 million South Koreans within range of the North Korean army, the fourth largest military in the world.

Another plan is to remove Kim Jon Un from power altogether.

But while the latter possibility sounds good on the surface, and is comparative to the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011 under President Barack Obama’s administration, it is really NOT a similar scenario.

Osama bin Laden was not the leader of a government, an organized state.

Kim Jong Un, as crazy and dangerous as he is, IS the leader of a government, and the possibility of a massive invasion of South Korea, as in the Korean War of 1950-1953 is alarming.

Let us not forget that 33,000 Americans died in the Korean War, and a hundred thousand were wounded, and the war dragged on for three years and one month.

Let us also not forget that officially it is against international law to assassinate foreign leaders, although the United States has done that before, either directly or indirectly, as for instance in Chile in 1973, under Richard Nixon, as just one example.

The thought of the US using nuclear weapons, when the only time it occurred, was against Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, is horrifying.

But there is no question of the complexity of the North Korean threat, which experts say within a few years could target Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the state of Hawaii, along with the threat to Japan and South Korea.

The question is whether we have a sane, balanced President to deal with this issue, and there is much doubt and trepidation about that.

April The Month For Many American Wars Beginning, And Now Likelihood Of War Against North Korea Soon

When one examines American history, if we do not count wars against native Americans; interventions in Latin America; and the Filipino Insurrection from 1899-1902, we have had 12 wars in the nation’s historical experience.

Six of those wars began in April–The Revolutionary War, the Mexican American War, the Civil War, The Spanish American War, the First World War, and the escalation of the Vietnam War.

These events took place in 1775, 1846, 1861, 1898, 1917, and 1965.

Additionally, two wars began in March–the Second World War if one counts the Lend Lease Act of 1941 as the real beginning of naval engagement before Pearl harbor in December; and the Iraq War on March 20, 2003, the 14th anniversary of that tragic war being yesterday.

And also, two wars began in June—the War of 1812 and the Korean War in 1950.

So only two wars did not begin in the Spring months from early March to late June–the Persian Gulf War in January 1991 and the Afghanistan War in October 2001.

There is something about the Spring months, and particularly April, that seems, maybe coincidentally but maybe not, to be the time for wars to commence.

Based on recent warnings from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while on a trip to Japan South Korea, and China, war could be coming very soon against Kim Jong Un of North Korea, maybe in April or shortly after, as concern about North Korean nuclear development being a growing threat to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, as well as Hawaii, and also the threat to South Korea and Japan, is alarming.

Los Angeles Minimum Wage To Go To $15 By 2020! Is This The Trend For The Nation?

The issue of the minimum wage has been a controversial one for the past decade, with the unwillingness of Congress to raise the minimum wage, which used to be raised automatically, based on the “cost of living” until the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Ever since, even despite occasional increases under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the argument has been that raising the minimum wage will cause more unemployment and raise prices for consumers dramatically.

But many say that is not the case, and that it is a situation of a basic human right, the ability to support oneself and one’s family, and that many of the people on the minimum wage are NOT young beginning workers, as claimed by critics, but rather people primarily of color who are single mothers with children.

Now Los Angeles has taken the bull by the horn, and mandated a $15 minimum wage in steps by the year 2020, and a few other localities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, have also raised the minimum wage, although not as high as Los Angeles.

There is a movement nationwide by fast food workers, and retail industry workers, to force an increase by demonstrations, with limited success at this time.

The fact is that IF the minimum wage was always based on the cost of living, the original minimum wage of 25 cents per hour in 1938 would not be about $22.00 an hour, so even what Los Angeles has mandated will happen, does not meet that standard.

President Obama has proposed a national minimum wage of $9 an hour, a small step forward.

It is clear that no worker, who works full time, should be expected to live in poverty, and if the rest of us must pay a higher price for goods and services, so be it!

The Defeat Of Dennis Kucinich: “Dennis The Menace” At The End Of A Colorful, Controversial Political Career!

Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich, one of the most colorful members of the House of Representatives in the present generation, will be retiring from Congress at the end of 2012, as a result of his overwhelming defeat by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, a fellow Democrat, longest serving woman in the House at present, who was forced into a race against Kucinich, due to the loss of two Ohio congressional seats as a result of redistricting.

Kucinich first came to notice as the boy mayor of Cleveland, and the push to recall him in 1979, which failed.

He re-emerged in Congress in the 1996 Congressional elections, and ran for President twice, in 2004 and 2008.

He became the leading critic of the Iraq War and pushed to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.

Everything he ever tried or did ended in failure, but he fought the good fight, and was seen, even by critics, as a man of principle, dedicated to his nation, and beloved by many progressives, even though it was obvious he was the equivalent of Don Quixote.

While in theory he could move to the Seattle, Washington area in the next month, and still qualify for a new Congressional district created by population growth in that state, it might be seen as making him ineligible to keep his Ohio seat for the rest of this year, and being a “carpetbagger”, he might be rejected for that seat if he was to run on such short notice and residency.

Annoying to many, Dennis Kucinich will still go down in history as someone memorable, and not easily forgotten!

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “Carpetbagger” In Washington State?

With reapportionment of seats about to take place in the House Of Representatives, based on the census figures, some states are gaining seats, while others are losing seats.

The Sun Belt is gaining seats, as they have done every decade since the 1950s, while the Frost Belt Northeast and Midwestern states, specifically the large ones, are losing seats.

This leads to some House members being gerrymandered into races against fellow members of the House of the same party, leaving the reality that some will be pushed out of their positions either by primary elections, or by reality setting in that they cannot compete in a primary or election in the new district and have a good chance of victory.

Such a circumstance is now faced by Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich, one of the most liberal and most controversial Democrats in Congress.

Kucinich, who was Mayor of Cleveland, acquiring the name “Dennis the Menace”; member of the Cleveland City Council later; and then has been a Congressman from Cleveland for eight terms, is faced with elimination unless he chooses to move somewhere else in another state which is gaining seats.

Kucinich, a national figure because of having competed for the Presidency in 2004 and 2008, was recently in the Seattle area of Washington State, which will gain a seat, trying to measure whether it was a good fit for a Congressional race, with Seattle being a progressive stronghold.

While it is required that a member of the House of Representatives must have a residence in the district he or she represents, in the year of reapportionment, the member can move into the district AFTER he or she has been elected, as often, even for members who keep their congressional seat, the boundaries have changed because of reapportionment, so new housing arrangements must be made, but it can be AFTER being elected to the new district seat.

The question is whether it is proper for Kucinich to do what he plans to do, and the answer is yes!

Why is that? Well, Washington State does not have a residency requirement in the state for someone to run for public office, much like New York State, which has had three non residents or “Carpetbaggers” run for and win a Senate seat–Robert Kennedy in 1964, James Buckley in 1970, and Hillary Clinton in 2000.

While there is no recent case of a “Carpetbagger” Congressman, it is not illegal or a first time situation, and what it all comes down to is that this is based on democracy! What the people of that particular new Congressional district in Seattle want, they are entitled to get. If the case can be made by a native Washingtonian that he or she should be elected over a well known Congressman from Cleveland, Ohio, it will rule the day!

The word “Carpetbagger”, originating as a derogatory term in the Reconstruction South, should not be looked at in such a manner, as even most of the so called “Carpetbaggers” in the Southern states, who were Congressmen, Senators, or Governors, actually performed well in office, and the term is therefore just political propaganda to be ignored as a myth of American history!