South Florida

America In Crisis: Danger Of Massive War In Asia; Immigration Conflict; One Historic Destructive Hurricane After Another!

America has gone through many crises and troubles in its history, but right now, in the eighth month of the Donald Trump Presidency, we are faced with a multitude of crises that challenges us in a massive way.

We have the danger of imminent and disastruus war in Asia with the rogue regime of North Korea, which could include nuclear war, and even with a conventional war, the potential to lose more of the population of South Korea and Japan, as well as American soldiers and expatriates, than at any time since 1945 and the end of World War II.

We have the conflict over immigration, which is tearing this nation apart, as Donald Trump appeals to white supremacists who want deportation of millions of people, which would undermine the American economy and society in so many ways many Americans do not realize.

And we have had the most destructive hurricane in American history in Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated the fourth largest city and metropolitan area in America in Houston, Texas, followed by the threat of an even more destructive storm in Hurricane Irma, now barreling toward South Florida and the entire Florida peninsula, at a record 185 miles per hour, and wind gusts as high as 225 miles per hour, enough to cause a catastrophe possibly even greater than Houston and Southeast Texas.

In the midst of these crises, we have a totally incompetent, inexperienced, and mentally unhinged President of the United States, who is a danger to the nation he leads. He has no clue in how to deal with any of these crises, and others.

2017 seems very likely to go down as one of the worst years in American history, along with the Great Depression and World War II years, and the Civil War years, and the stupidity of one third of our population endorsing and supporting Donald Trump in all of his maniacal behavior, is a major reason why this year is such a tragic year, with almost four months to go. The Trump loyalists will never admit they were wrong, and that their vote has undermined America long term.

Prediction That Four States Will Decide Presidential Election—Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida–Is That Legitimate?

Many political observers are saying that four states are the true battleground that will decide who is inaugurated President on January 20, 2017.

Those states are Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.

The question is whether that belief is legitimate.

This blogger thinks it is much more complicated than those four states, and that two of them–Pennsylvania and Florida—are assured for the Democrats as it is.

Yes, it is true that Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia and east of Pittsburgh is often called “Alabama”, but Pennsylvania has been reliably “Blue” or Democratic for six straight elections from 1992 onward, and that is not likely to change. If “Alabama” really mattered as much as some think, then how did our African American President win the state both in 2008 and 2012? If anything, with the economy far better now than it was in 2008 and 2012, and with Barack Obama’s public opinion rating now at 58 percent, the highest since his first year in office (2009), Pennsylvania is assured to go “Blue” again. Remember, all that is needed is to win the most popular votes to win the electoral votes, not necessary to win a majority, but just a plurality.

Florida, despite being Republican in state elections, went for Barack Obama twice, and now there are many more Puerto Rican citizens who have moved from the island to central Florida in particular, due to the tough economic times in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are citizens who just need to re-register at their new address, and the vast majority of them are Democrats, and therefore now lessen the Cuban influence on the state vote. And many younger Cubans are not automatically conservative or Republican as their elders are. With the I-4 corridor (Central Florida) becoming more likely Democratic, add much of South Florida to the equation (Broward and Palm Beach Counties), and the influence of North Florida and Miami-Dade County (where many immigrants turned citizens from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and other nations in Latin America have migrated and not generally Republicans) are therefore outweighed, and with the better public opinion ratings of Obama added to the mix, the odds are that Florida will go “Blue” again.

Ohio is more difficult, and history tells us that every elected Republican President has won Ohio, so this is truly the crucial state but with Hillary Clinton having the edge in most polls. And one must remember Hillary has a built in edge in “Blue” States, and does not have to win Ohio, while Donald Trump must win it or have no chance to win the White House.

North Carolina went for Obama in 2008 but went “Red” for Mitt Romney in 2012, but polls now indicate that Hillary is favored, but again is not essential for Hillary to win the Presidency.

I would say beyond these four states, there are the states of Georgia and Arizona and Utah, all “Red” states, that indicate close races, with the possibility that they could go “Blue” for this election, and possibly beyond, particularly true for Georgia and Arizona, due to the increase in Hispanic and Latino population and voters.

So Hillary Clinton still has an overwhelming advantage, with eight weeks out from Election Day, to win the Presidency.

Asian Americans: The Ultimate Swing Vote In Florida, Virginia, Nevada In the Presidential Election Of 2016, And Influence Nationally!

One group that has not gained much attention in the fury of the Presidential Election campaign of 2016 are Asian Americans, the fastest growing group in America.

With a little more than 5 percent of the population, and rapidly growing in Florida, Virginia, and Nevada, and already substantial in New York, California, Illinois, Maryland, Washington State, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado and other states, Asian Americans are very likely to play a pivotal role in who wins the Presidency.

Asian Americans could also affect Senate and House races, as they are very likely to vote, and the vast majority have tended to vote Democratic in recent years.  The growing numbers of Asian Americans in Central and South Florida, Northern Virginia, and the Las Vegas metropolitan area are likely to insure that those three key swing states should influence the Democratic candidate’s likelihood of winning the Presidency.

Many do not realize how  many different Asian groups are included–including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, as well as those from India, Pakistan and other nations in Asia.  Very accomplished and very dedicated to their civic duty to participate in the electoral battle is a great way to describe Asian Americans.

And the history of Asian Americans is always in the background–particularly the banning of Chinese immigration from 1882-1943, and the mistreatment of Japanese Americans in California early in the 20th century, and the forced internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans in World War II.

Asian Americans know that they must fight against nativism, racism, and religious discrimination, including those of Muslim faith.

So the Republican Party has a major problem in drawing Asian American support, with 73 percent voting for Barack Obama in 2012!

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 Complete Reversal Of American Politics: Republicans In The South, Democrats In Large Populated Northeastern, Midwestern And Western States!

The defeat of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday marks the complete reversal of American politics from the years 1877 to the present.

After the Reconstruction of the South ended, with Union Army troops leaving, twelve years after the Civil War, the South became an area totally dominated by Democrats, resentful of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War defeat, and the passage of Amendments 13, 14, and 15, ending slavery, making blacks citizens, and giving the men the right to vote.

The South went into massive resistance, creating Jim Crow segregation to replace slavery, and until the election of Herbert Hoover in 1928 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, it was always a solid Democratic South with no black voting, due to discriminatory state laws that were ignored by generations of the federal government. Hoover won much of the South due to his Catholic opponent, Alfred E. Smith, in 1928, and Eisenhower won over Adlai Stevenson twice in the 1950s due to his personal popularity and World War II D Day reputation.

But only when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, starting in the 1950s, and reaching its peak with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, did we see the beginning of a mass exodus of office holders and ordinary white population, to the Republican Party, starting with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1964, switching parties to back Republican Senator Barry Goldwater against President Lyndon B. Johnson.

As the Democrats started to lose power in the South, the nomination of Southern governors Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and the rise of “New South” Governors like them and others in the Democratic Party, slowed up the switch to the GOP.

But the election of Barack Obama, considered anathema in the South, has now led to the entire wiping out of Southern Democrats in Congress, except for black and Jewish members of the House in districts gerrymandered that give the Republicans more total Congressional and state legislative seats in the South. Only a few other white non jewish members of the House remain, and they are endangered in the political climate of the South in 2014.

Only Virginia has both its Senators and Governor (Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe) as Democrats, and only Florida has one other Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson at this point, as we enter 2015.

And both Virginia and Florida have Republican dominated legislatures, as well as the other states that made up the Confederate States of America.

And, of course, Florida includes the heavily Northern South Florida, and Virginia has the heavily Northern North Virginia, influenced by being part of the DC suburbs, and otherwise, these three Senators and one Governor would not be in public office.

So the complete reversal of a century and a half ago has occurred, and is unlikely to be changed for a generation or more, at the least.

This means that the South will remain as it is now for a generation or more, and that the issue of race nearly a century and a half ago, again stands out as the key difference that separates that section from the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the heavily populated areas of the nation in the Northeast, Midwest and West are more Democratic than ever, and are unlikely to change either over time, creating political deadlock long term over the future, stifling change and creating constant political conflict and deadlock!

A Rational, Sensible Proposal: Two Californias, Two Texases, Two Floridas, Two New Yorks, Northern Virginia And Washington DC Unified As A State!

There has been a lot of speculation and discussion about the creation of new states, and this was discussed in a post on July 4 on this blog.

However, despite the move toward a ballot measure to create SIX Californias, it will NOT happen, and neither will five Texases, nor three New Yorks, nor two Marylands, nor two Illinoises, nor two Pennsylvanias, and even another suggestion, two Colorados!

However, it is NOT unreasonable to suggest that there could be a division of the following states into two states each–California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

A Northern and Southern California would make sense, as the state is overly large, with 38 million people, with a division being the North California state would include San Francisco and Sacramento and the Silicon Valley, and Central California, while South California would include Los Angeles and San Diego, and the heavily populated areas around LA and San Diego.

A Northern and Southern Texas might be divided along the following lines—North Texas being the Panhandle and West Texas along with Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area; and South Texas including East Texas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio and down to the Rio Grande River boundary line except for the Western area around El Paso, which would be in North Texas.

A division of New York would be the New York City counties, along with Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland Counties, a total of nine counties, with the other 53 counties North of the city of New York (including Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester) being named New Amsterdam, the original Dutch colony name.

A division of Florida would be Northern Florida and Central Florida as North Florida, and South Florida being the counties of the Keys, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

Finally, a good idea would be to add Northern Virginia to Washington DC, name it Columbia, and revive the old failed amendment for statehood for DC, by adding those northern Virginia suburbs to the nation’s capital, and ending the discrimination against the 700,000 residents of DC, by making them part of a state, with the state known as North Virginia!

No more Congressional seats in the House of Representatives would be created, except for the addition of the District of Columbia to the Northern Virginia suburbs, so there would be 436 House members, instead of 435. However, there would then be 55 states, creating ten new US Senators; requiring 56 instead of 51 Senators to be a majority; 61 instead of 55 to end filibuster on executive branch nominations; and 66 instead of 60 Senators to end all other filibusters.

Commentary on this is welcome!

A Personal Moment Of Joy For “The Progressive Professor”!

Yesterday, Sunday, June 1, was a special day, as my older son David married his sweetheart, Stephanie Levy, at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, two blocks from the White House!

The Willard has its own history, as the official inauguration hotel for several Presidents, and having had every President visit, if not stay, at the hotel, along with many other celebrities. Many Presidents since Franklin Pierce in March 1853 have stayed there, and Abraham Lincoln resided there for about ten days before his inauguration on the eve of the Civil War.

There is no greater moment in a personal lifetime than seeing one’s son or daughter marry, and I am extremely pleased to welcome a “daughter” to the family, and for my younger son Paul to welcome a “sister” into the family. Both David and Stephanie are very bright, highly motivated, hard working people, and I am proud of both of them, as well as my younger son, Paul!

This was, in its own way, a history making day, and a day to reflect about what is really important in life, and nothing is more important than family! So yesterday was a day uniting two families from South Florida and St Louis, Missouri!

South Florida Wars On Homeless And Voters: Signs Of Heartless Attitude Toward Poor, And Minority Right To Vote

The Republican Party in the state of Florida has become as heartless and disgraceful in their treatment of the homeless, the poor, and minorities, as already demonstrated in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and elsewhere.

But now South Florida, where the author lives, has reached a new low!

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, center of Broward County, is now working to outlaw the homeless in their jurisdiction from having ANY personal items with them, including clothing, food, medicine, and personal items. These homeless are already degraded, but now they can have no personal possessions, an absolute outrage!

And Dade County is now setting up voting rules that will close all public restrooms on voting days, since many of them do not have adequate conditions for disabled people, so that means voters will have to wait on line for hours under restrictive rules for voting days and hours, and be unable to relieve themselves, thereby discouraging many voters from even getting on line.

What kind of community bars anyone from having personal posessions on their person or near them, and what kind of community cloes all restrooms as a method to cut voting numbers?

This is unconscionable, and the Department of Justice MUST intervene to stop both actions, and similar ones elsewhere in the nation!

How could anyone claim that the Department of Justice should not sue on these matters, as a violation of civil rights?

What kind of a nation are we becoming, when we take away all human dignity from the homeless, and have jurisdictions closing restrooms to prevent voting?

How can anyone justify this in the name of human decency and compassion and justice?

Three Rising Stars In The Democratic Party: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, And Julian And Joaquin Castro!

As one looks ahead to the future beyond 2014, one can see some bright rising stars in the Democratic Party, who are seen as likely to move up in American politics beyond where they are right now in 2014.

One is Democratic National Chairwoman, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of South Florida, who has been speculated about as a future Speaker of the House, but is now considered a likely choice for the Democrats to challenge Republican Senator Marco Rubio in 2016, giving up her chance to accomplish her well known earlier goal. This would be a massive battle of two South Florida “giants” for the Senate seat of the third largest state in America!

Wasserman Schultz would be a “dynamite” figure in the US Senate, a younger version of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, were she to be elected to the upper chamber.

But if not successful, Wasserman Schultz could be a cabinet member under the next Democratic President, whoever that might be, which is still a highly likely situation to have the Democrats retain the White House in 2016.

Additionally, the Castro Brothers of Texas, Julian and Joaquin, are definite rising stars, with the likelihood that Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, could be the Vice Presidential running mate of ANY Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016, being 42 years old by then. He is very impressive as the Mayor of the sixth largest city in America, and can assist in turning Texas “blue”, which is highly likely as the decade moves on.

Meanwhile, his identical twin brother, Joaquin, now a member of the House of Representatives, is seen as likely to challenge Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, and to have a good chance to defeat the highly controversial Senator. This would be the ultimate Latino vs Latino challenge, but with the reality that Mexican Americans in Texas and nationally far outweigh the percentage of Cuban Americans. so Castro being from a group that is about 17 times the size of Cuban Americans, such as Cruz and Marco Rubio, is not to be regarded as something that can be ignored.

So if fortune works out in a good way, we should have Senator Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Vice President Julian Castro of Texas elected in 2016, and Senator Joaquin Castro of Texas elected in 2018. And we might see the demise of Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas in 2016 and 2018 respectively!

First Effort To Expand Gay Marriage Should Be To Promote It In Other “Blue” States!

Now that gay marriage has been declared constitutional, and that gay Americans are entitled to the same benefits and privileges of straight couples, the next step should be to work to promote passage of gay marriage in the other 13 “Blue” states, states that voted for Barack Obama in 2012.

So far, the six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island); three Middle Atlantic states (New York, Maryland, Delaware); two Midwestern states (Iowa, Minnesota); and two Pacific Coast states (Washington, California) have accepted gay marriage as legal.

So 13 states have moved to adopt gay marriage, leaving 13 other states which voted Democratic in 2012. The list includes the following:

Middle Atlantic states–New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Southern states–Virginia, Florida
Midwestern states–Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois
Mountain States–Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado
Pacific Coast states–Oregon, Hawaii

Some of these states should be fairly easy to prod in the direction of gay marriage, including New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, and Hawaii.

Other states will be more difficult, but are possible, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Mexico.

The toughest states to accomplish this goal are Virginia and Florida.

Republican Governors will fight to prevent gay marriage in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, but if they can be defeated for reelection, if their horrible, anti women, anti labor, anti immigrant policies are made the issue.

Chris Christie is a greater barrier, but do not be surprised if after reelection in New Jersey, he moves in the direction of acceptance of gay marriage!

Northern Virginia and South Florida give a long range hope for those states to accept gay marriage down the road, but not anytime soon.

The struggle for acceptance of gay marriage in more states is a battle worth fighting! Already, about one third of the American people, more than 100 million, live in states that accept gay marriage. It is essential to make that percentage more than two thirds of all Americans, over the next decade!

Of course, there is always the possibility that the Supreme Court might move in the direction of a Loving V. Virginia wide scope decision, as with interracial marriage in 1967. But the state by state battle must, meanwhile, go on!