Sexual Harassment

Kirsten Gillibrand Becomes A Rock Star: Mixed Feelings On The Part Of The Author About This

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has become a rock star on the issue of sexual harassment in the military, on university campuses, and in the entertainment, media, and business community, and now has been attacked in a tweet by President Donald Trump, who intimated that Gillibrand, when asking him years ago for campaign contributions, seemed willing to do “anything” for such support, a demeaning and sexist and misogynistic retort by Trump, which is, of course, nothing new.

Democratic women in Congress have reacted today with outrage, and are demanding a Congressional investigation of the charges against Donald Trump, brought to the forefront in the election year of 2016 by 16 women.

This was followed up by Democratic women Senators demanding Minnesota Senator Al Franken resign, which this author criticized as bullying and denying Franken an ethics hearing on charges of sexual harassment.

This situation with Franken alienated me from Gillibrand, as I stated on the blog four days ago.

While I appreciate Gillibrand’s engagement on the issue of sexual harassment, I still stand unwilling to consider her for President in 2020, due to the mistreatment, as I see it, of Senator Franken. However, many observers believe Gillibrand has benefited greatly on this issue, and that it might catapult her into a leading position in the Democratic Party battle for the Presidency three years from now.

Of course, I condemn Donald Trump’s crude Twitter reaction to Senator Gillibrand, and hope the issue of Donald Trump’s moral turpitude can, somehow, have an impact in his being forced out of the Presidency in the coming months of 2018.

Kirsten Gillibrand And Other Women Senators Wrong To Force Al Franken Out Of Office Without Ethics Investigation And Clear Cut Evidence Of Sexual Harassment

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and other women Senators were wrong to force Senator Al Franken out of the Senate, without having an ethics investigation first, with clear cut evidence of sexual harassment and abuse by the Minnesota Senator.

Kirsten Gillibrand acted like a bully in leading the charge in such an aggressive manner, and it will harm her in her quest to become the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee, which she clearly is desirous of becoming.

This blogger has been skeptical of Gillibrand before, and in 2008, the idea that she would be appointed to the US Senate by New York Governor David Patterson to replace Hillary Clinton, who was becoming Secretary of State, was astounding, as she did not have the best Congressional record of the various people named as contenders for the appointment.

Gillibrand had a very conservative record in her upstate NY district, and then suddenly became very liberal, a situation which seemed suspicious to this blogger.

Although this author said back in 1998 that Bill Clinton should have resigned in the sex scandal which led to his impeachment that year, it was not proper 19 years later for Gillibrand to say that Bill Clinton should have resigned, and in so doing, smacking Hillary Clinton in the face.

It adds to the image of Kirsten Gillibrand as an opportunist, who cannot be trusted to be President, but the possibility of her being the nominee always seemed a long shot.

Now it will be less likely, with her mercenary attitude, and rush to judgment, denying us a Senator, Al Franken, who was one of the stars of the Democratic Party, and helped to cause Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation of Donald Trump, which led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The Impact Of The California House Delegation–53 out of 435 House Of Representatives Members, And 16 Major Figures

California, the largest state with one out of every eight people in the nation–39.25 million out of 323 million in 2016—has 53 members in the House of Representatives–one out of every eight in the House.

Due to that reality, California House members tend to stand out as more significant than many in other state delegations, with 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans representing the state in the House of Representatives.

A large number of these Congressmen and Congresswomen are leaders in the House, and are often seen on cable television and on news websites.

Among the Republicans, we have:

Kevin McCarthy of the 23rd District is the House Majority Leader, second highest leader of the Republicans in the chamber.

Devin Nunes of the 22nd District is the House Intelligence Committee Chair, although he stepped aside on the investigation of Donald Trump, due to accusations that he had disclosed classified information to the public, and consulted with President Trump on committee actions.

Ed Royce of the 39th District is the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair.

Dana Rohrabacher of the 48th District has been controversial for his overly pro Russian, pro Vladimir Putin, advocacy.

Darrell Issa of the 49th District was the Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from 2011-2015, and is also known to be the wealthiest member of Congress.

Among the Democrats, we have:

Nancy Pelosi of the 12th District is former Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, and has been Minority Leader since 2011, and is, therefore, the highest ranking Democrat in Congress, and is always highly controversial as a result of her leadership position.

Barbara Lee is a very outspoken African American Congresswoman, representing the 13th District, and was the only person not to support the resolution authorizing the use of force after September 11, 2001. She has been in the past the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Jackie Speier of the 14th District has been a leader in the movement to expose sexual harassment, and to demand action on misbehavior of members of Congress.

Eric Swalwell of the 15th District has only been in Congress for five years, but has played a role on the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee on the ongoing investigation into Donald Trump and Russian collusion, and is often seen on cable news programs.

Zoe Lofgren of the 19th District serves on the Oversight and Judiciary Committees and is an important figure with her 22 years in the House of Representatives.

Adam Schiff of the 28th District has become the major figure on the Democratic side of the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Donald Trump and Russian collusion, and earlier served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has also served on the Appropriations Committee. He is considered an expert on foreign policy and national security issues. He is often seen on cable news programs.

Brad Sherman of the 30th District is a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has been in the House of Representatives for 21 years. He has also served on the Financial Services Committee.

Ted Lieu of the 33rd District has been in Congress for only three years, but is already an outspoken member, including a call for the impeachment of Donald Trump, and he has been made an Assistant Whip by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. He serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees in the House of Representatives.

Karen Bass, African American from the 37th District, serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees, and is quite outspoken, despite only seven years in the House of Representatives.

Linda Sanchez of the 38th District serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and is ranking member of the Ethics Committee, and is Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She is also the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, 5th ranking position in the House Democratic leadership, and first woman of color ever to be elected to a leadership position in the history of the US Congress.

Maxine Waters of the 43rd District, and African American, is the most outspoken critic of Donald Trump in Congress, and has called for his impeachment and removal from the Presidency. She has long been a firebrand on many issues, and is the most senior of twelve black women serving in Congress. She is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and has been in Congress since 1991. She was also a strong critic of President George W. Bush, as well as of President Barack Obama. She also is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, and previously served on the House Judiciary Committee. She has come under fire for her confrontational manner, and has been accused of and investigated for ethics violations.

So 5 Republicans and 11 Democrats, almost one third of the 53 House members from California, are major figures in what goes on in the House of Representatives on a daily basis.

The Growing Likelihood Of A Democratic Woman Presidential Nominee In 2020: Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar

With the failure of Hillary Clinton to become President, and with the growing misogyny of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the likelihood of a Democratic woman Presidential nominee in 2020 has multiplied.

One would think that the failure to elect the first woman President would make it less likely that another woman would come along and challenge in a serious manner, but a large percentage of women clearly want such an eventuality.

There are four potential women Presidential candidates as the situation now exists: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California Senator Kamala Harris, and Wisconsin Senator Amy Klubuchar.

Their ideological bent is in that order, with Warren the most progressive and Klobuchar more to the moderate center.

Only Warren is well known at this time, but she tends to engender more fierce opposition, while also being, by far, the best debater.

Gillibrand has been a leader on sexual harassment in the military, while Harris has the least time in the Senate, but was formerly Attorney General of California, and reminds many of Barack Obama as she is mixed race with parents from India and the island of Jamaica. She has brought notice for her tough questioning and aggressiveness in just a few months in the Senate.

Klobuchar has been in the Senate longer than the other three, and much more effective at working across the aisle, and to try to accomplish legislation without dramatics. She comes from the Midwest, so might be better able to appeal to the Rust Belt. But she is not “exciting” in her personality, as compared to the other three women.

Trying to guess which would have the best chance, it would seem that Warren or Klobuchar, at the opposite ends of the Democratic Party from Left to Centrist, would have the best opportunities, but impossible to know.

Somehow, this blogger finds Amy Klobuchar interesting, and not to be ignored, but we shall see what develops.

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

24 Years Of Justice Thurgood Marshall; 24 Years Of Justice Clarence Thomas: The Contrast!

Hard to believe, but it has been 24 years since Clarence Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush, with Thomas being chosen to replace the first African American on the Court, Thurgood Marshall, who had been selected 24 years earlier (1967), by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Marshall had made it clear that he wanted to stay on the Court until a Democrat was elected President, but despite his desires, his poor health forced him to resign. Marshall stands out as having been a quality member of the Court, one of the top 15 Supreme Court Justices of the 20th century.

Thomas, the second African American in Court history, would face severe attacks on his competency and on charges by Anita Hill that he had sexually harassed her when she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the 1980s.

The Thomas nomination became a major controversy, and led to the passage of sexual harassment laws affecting all employees in America, both in government and out of government.

It also led to a bitter and close nomination battle, with Thomas winning his seat on the Court by the closest margin in modern history, 52-48.

It caused Thomas to become embittered, and he has expressed this bitterness toward liberals ever since, and he has pledged he will not leave the Court until he is 86 years of age in 2034, doubling his age of 43 when he came to the Court.

Thomas has made his mission on the Court to oppose civil rights and civil liberties wherever he can, despite the fact that he benefited personally from Affirmative Action, and his race helped him to gain his job, even though his accomplishments were far less than Thurgood Marshall. Many well qualified African Americans were passed over for Thomas, because he was an outlier, a conservative, who did not care about what had happened to people of his race.

So Thomas has been an extreme right winger on the Supreme Court, along with Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, but in many ways more hard right than even them, without the intellectual brilliance of Scalia for much of the time he has been on the Court.

Thomas has almost never asked questions in oral arguments, and his history on the Court is just about the least impressive of all nine Justices.

But at the same time, he has had conflicts of interest that should disqualify his Court membership, and his wife has been a big power player with Right Wing groups that present many conflicts of interest, but no concern or explanation or apology from Justice Thomas, who has no concern as to how he is perceived or reported in the news media.

Thomas has come across as arrogant, but also dense about discrimination against African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, women, gays and lesbians, organized labor, and the environment.

Thomas is seen as certain to work against Affirmative Action, as in several cases in the past, despite the advantages he has had in his own life.

When one compares him to Justice Thurgood Marshall, it is clear that the appointment of Thomas was just about the worst decision President George H. W. Bush made in his term of office.

And if in the afterlife, someone can look down on the world, it would be clear that Justice Marshall, who was known for being blunt, would be furious that Thomas replaced him as the African American member on the Court, with no likelihood of his early departure anytime soon!

Two Supreme Court Justices Prove To Be Disasters And Embarrassments: Clarence Thomas And Samuel Alito!

It is now clear that the second Supreme Court nominee choices of George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, have turned out to be disasters and embarrassments to the Court they serve on!

Clarence Thomas was appointed by the elder Bush, and went through a tumultuous Supreme Court nomination battle, centered on sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill, and his confirmation was the closest vote of a successful nominee in decades!

He has proceeded to be an embarrassment, showing bitterness and the desire for revenge, and sullying the memory of the first African American Justice, Thurgood Marshall, who he replaced on the Court in 1991.

And a beneficiary of affirmative action, he has now, just today, compared affirmative action to slavery and segregation, an absolutely crazy comparison!

This man is inappropriate in his behavior in so many ways, including NEVER asking a question during oral arguments, the only Justice in memory to have that unfortunate distinction!

And then there is Samuel Alito, the appointment of George W. Bush in 2005, who mouthed open opposition to Barack Obama’s criticism of the Citizens United Case in his State of the Union Address in 2010, embarrassing himself and the Court!

And Alito, today, mocked fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with gestures, including rolling his eyes, shaking his head, and looking at the ceiling. And Alito apparently has a problem with the other women Justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, showing disrespect for them in open Court. As Dana Milbank of the Washington Post said today, Alito displays “Middle School antics”.

And imagine, Alito could have been the Chief Justice if John Roberts had already begun testimony to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, but before he could, Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, and President Bush decided to switch Roberts to the Chief Justice position, and so Alito replaced O’Connor as an Associate Justice on the Court! Imagine Chief Justice Alito, the sour puss and nasty personality!

So the Bushes made major mistakes in selection of Thomas and Alito, and the Court is stuck with them for many years, beyond the retirement of another conservative, Antonin Scalia, who is more intelligent, and more charming, even if often obnoxious as well!

The Bizarre Ending Of The Herman Cain Presidential Campaign

Herman Cain has “suspended” his Presidential campaign, while conceding nothing about the sexual harassment and long term liaison charges lodged against him.

He has invoked God and patriotism, the usual way that Republicans go when they are out to protect their rear flank!

He was able to convince his wife to be there on the platform in Georgia, cheering him on with every sentence of his statement, and proving to be an embarrassment to womanhood that she would be so willing to subjugate herself for her “man”, when in her heart of hearts, she has to know that she is married to a liar, a cheater, an egotist, a braggart, a “windbag”, who has no substance, knows nothing about any topic in public affairs, and is totally unqualified to be anything more than a motivational speaker, since one can always find a gullible audience to be mesmerized by the power of good speech delivery, no matter what propaganda or bull is promoted in the speaking before such an audience!

This man calls himself a “common man” because of his difficult childhood, but he has forgotten what being in poor circumstances means, as he has joined a party that only cares about the wealthy, and having had the good fortune to gain wealth through corporate connections over the years, he is now quite wealthy, and cares not a whit about those he has left behind!

Herman Cain is only about Herman Cain, and his new website is just another way to enrich himself, and satisfy his craving for constant attention and a sense of having power and influence!

And one can be assured that he has not learned from his nightmare last month of accusations from various women, and that he will engage again and again in inappropriate behavior with women, while his wife acts like a “Stepford Wife”, an embarrassment to herself and all women who have any sense of propriety and self esteem, and would throw overboard a cheating adulterer as Herman Cain is!

Herman Cain also said that he would endorse a candidate for President, and it is clear that he will back his good “friend”, Newt Gingrich, since the two men get along well, and actually participated in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate in the past month, one that made very little news!

Certainly, Cain will not back Mitt Romney, who he indirectly referred to, when he said a “common man” without money or a Harvard pedigree as he is, can still become a success.

He will not back Rick Perry, who he accused a month ago of spreading the rumors about sexual harassment, although he had no evidence that he ever presented to prove that was so!

Cain has little association with Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul, so Gingrich will “benefit” from the endorsement, if that endorsement means anything!

In any case, with Herman Cain suspending his race, one can say “Good Riddance”, unless maybe Herman Cain decides with his new website to form a third party movement, further complicating the Presidential race!

The Herman Cain Phenomenon And Public Opinion Polls: A Parallel Universe!

Herman Cain has had one hell of a week, and yet, unlike Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, he goes up in public opinion polls, while Mitt Romney stays stagnant in his numbers, still only about one out of four Republicans supporting him.

Herman Cain does not know China has had nuclear weapons since 1964.

Herman Cain does not seem to care that his 9-9-9 plan would raise taxes on 84 percent of the people, while lowering taxes on the wealthy.

Herman Cain suggests that we build a fence between Mexico and the United States which is electrified, and also wants a moat with alligators in it to stop illegal immigrants.

Herman Cain says he is against abortion completely, but wants the woman to have the choice on ending pregnancies.

Herman Cain does not know anything about foreign policy, and makes fun of the name of an important ally in the Near East in the war in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, saying he does not know who its leader is and does not care.

Herman Cain believes that it is alright to sexually harass women in the workplace and that no one should be disturbed by this.

Herman Cain has made so many other inane statements and shown a tremendous lack of interest in details on public issues, and seems more interested in selling his book and improving his chances to make money on motivational speeches.

Through all this, apparently, many Republicans either do not believe the sexual harassment charges or think they are no big deal, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, so Cain’s ratings have improved.

It does not matter to these Republicans that Herman Cain has no knowledge or experience in government, and they seem to be willing to “wing” it and let an incompetent, stupid man become the leader of the free world, whose best credentials is that he headed a pizza corporation!

The ability of Republicans and many Americans to live in a “bubble”, in their own version of the “parallel universe” is mind boggling!

Will the American people at large be moronic enough to put into office a businessman who is no Wendell Willkie or Ross Perot, both men having had an intelligent, accomplished career before running for President?

And remember, neither Willkie nor Perot WON, and if Herman Cain somehow becomes our next President, God save the United States and the world!

Herman Cain And The Race Card: Hypocrisy To The Extreme!

Herman Cain has long made it clear that he does not think race is a factor in American life, and has shown no concern over the high incarceration rate and poverty rate that African Americans are faced with.

He has been quick to poke fun at Barack Obama as not a true black, but instead at himself as a true black who is against affirmative action, against poverty programs, against any consideration of the horrible social conditions that many people of his race deal with daily.

But yet, as soon as he is attacked for sexual harassment, he pulls a “Clarence Thomas”, claiming he is a victim because he is black, that he is being subjected to a “high tech lynching” and a “witch hunt”, and suddenly the conservative talk show hosts use the race card, while attacking Barack Obama if even a suggestion of Obama’s race is brought up as somehow promoting the “black cause”!

The fact is that Herman Cain, now blaming Rick Perry for what is happening, must come to grips with the fact that such a story would not have come about without substantial evidence, and he is simply trying to blame someone else for his own shortcomings, which include incompetence and ignorance about EVERY subject that he brings up or is questioned about!

Is Herman Cain ready for the “big time”? The answer clearly is NO!