Speaker Of The House

State Politics Much More Complicated Than Often Realized: The Cases Of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California

Anyone who follows American politics historically and contemporarily often seems unaware of the complexity of state politics around the nation.

We hear discussion of “Blue” states and “Red” states, but state politics is much more complicated that that.

Gerrymandering often distorts the reality of political loyalties in many states, and also the reality of about one third of voters being “Independent”, rather than loyal to Democrats or Republicans.

There are many examples of this across the nation, particularly noticeable in larger, more populated states.

Just a few examples:

New York State is often thought to be strongly Democratic, but not true in the state legislature, and New York City is vastly different in political culture from upstate New York areas, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Even Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, often reflect different views than the five boroughs of New York City, and within New York City, Staten Island, is vastly different from Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, with Queens County more balanced than the other boroughs in the city.

Pennsylvania is a state where gerrymandering has given the Republicans until now a great advantage, but new court ordered mandates may change that balance in Congress and the state legislature. Philadelphia has a very different political orientation than western Pennsylvania, often called “Alabama” outside of the city of Pittsburgh.

Virginia is well known to have a very liberal Democratic northern section (often called NoVa), reflecting the influence of being the Washington DC suburbs, while much of the rest of the state is reliably conservative and Republican.

Florida is strongly Democratic in the southern counties, particularly Broward and Palm Beach Counties, with somewhat less so in Miami Dade County due to the influence of Cuban Americans, but even that is diminishing, since it is now 60 years since the rise of Fidel Castro, and those directly affected negatively by Castro, are mostly no longer part of the population in Miami. At the same time, Central Florida is the real battleground in the state, the area that decides most elections. North Florida is much like Alabama or Georgia, its neighbors.

Ohio is strongly Democratic in the northern and central sections, particularly in Cleveland and Toledo, and the capital of Columbus, but in the more rural parts and in southern Ohio, near Kentucky, including Cincinnati, it is strongly Republican.

Illinois is dominated by Chicago in the northern part, but down state Illinois is much more Republican in orientation.

Michigan has Detroit as strongly Democratic but in western and northern Michigan, it is much more rural and Republican.

Texas has Democratic strongholds in the state capitol, Austin, and in Houston, while other portions of this very large state, including the rural areas, are strongly Republican.

California has Democratic strongholds in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Central Valley, San Diego, and cities like Bakersfield, where House Majority Leader and possible next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy resides, are strongly Republican.

The next race for the Speaker of the House could be between two Californians of totally different mentalities–Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

A basic reality is that urban areas are always much more likely to be Democratic while rural areas are certain to be more Republican.

Suburban areas are what often decides the politics of a state and in Congress and the Presidential election, as they are the balancing force that determines a state vote, and recently it seems clear the suburban areas, often Republican, are starting to move away from that long time loyalty.

Obama Care Survives: Massive Defeat For Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, And Republican Party, And Public Opinion Is Turning Negative!

Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and the Republican Party have suffered a massive defeat, in their failure, after 60 votes over the past six years to destroy Obama Care, and now being unable to control their own caucus and accomplish its demise yesterday in the House of Representatives.

The Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, Can still undermine the enforcement of the law, and cause it to fail, but it will put the blame on Donald Trump for failure to enforce the law as it is, until and when it is repealed and replaced.

The irony of it all is that Obama Care is really the Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich Heritage Foundation program of 1993, offered as an alternative to Hillary Care, and is also based on Romney Care in Massachusetts, but once Obama was elected, the GOP decision was to refuse to accept any health care plan, and Mitt Romney ran against his own program in Massachusetts, when he opposed Obama in the 2012 Presidential election.

So both the Republican Party and Mitt Romney were engaged in total hypocrisy, when Obama settled for what has become law, due to the difficulties in gaining “a public option”, or promoting “Medicare For All”, a single payer system, when both would have taken control away from the health insurance companies.

The proposed bill that never came to a vote yesterday would have caused 24 million to lose all health care coverage, and would have given massive tax cuts to the wealthy yet a third time, after Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and George W. Bush in the 2000s, taking the needs of the wealthy who do not need a tax cut over the needs of millions of Americans.

Donald Trump has failed, and has discovered that his business methods do not work in politics, with him having believed like Ross Perot in the 1990s, that all you had to do was take the politicians into a room, and you could force them to do what you want, and both Perot in theory then, and now Trump in practice, is learning otherwise.

So we saw yesterday a rare moment of humility by Trump, who had claimed Obama Care would be gone on the first day of his Presidency.

We also saw yesterday the gleeful Paul Ryan, so anxious since college to destroy the social safety net while drinking kegs of beer and failing in love with lunatic Ayn Rand, finally getting his comeuppance.

The GOP is doomed as long as they allow the 30 or so members of the House Freedom Caucus to hold them hostage, a group which forced John Boehner out of the Speakership in 2015.

It is time for Ryan to start working for bipartisan government, and ask Democrats for help, as otherwise the GOP will fail to get anything done, since the anarchistic Freedom Caucus is out to destroy government itself, and must be repudiated totally, and told where they can go.

The Republican Party may be the majority right now, but public opinion has turned against them on health care, with only 17 percent supporting the failed Ryan health care plan.

So Ryan Care or Trump Care lies in ruins at this time, and it is well deserved.

Paul Ryan, A Phony Christian (Catholic), With His Views On The Poor, Disabled, And Needy–Shame On Him And His Ilk In The GOP!

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ran for Vice President as the running mate of Mitt Romney in 2012, and at that time, this blogger made clear just how despicable a person he was, and I received a lot of hate emails because of that.

But what I said was true, and it is showing through ever more now on the Health Care legislation, where Ryan seems gleeful and excited about knocking millions of people off health care, and tells us that Obama Care is a nightmare, when it is anything but that.

Obama Care is not perfect, but it has saved many lives and brought health care to more than 20 million people, with the majority being white Christians, who now will be knocked off, and this will cause the death of thousands of people who will be unable to gain necessary medical intervention.

Ryan and others in the Congress have town halls, and hear the desperate entreaties of poor, sick, elderly, and disabled of all races and ethnic backgrounds, who are begging for a health care plan that does not ignore them.

Instead, the plan is to destroy Medicaid, and eventually Medicare as well, with Ryan laughing at one point about how he had been dreaming about this, when he was in college, drinking kegs of beer.

Watching that scene made this blogger want to vomit, as Ryan claims to be a “good Catholic”, a “good Christian”, as all of these reprehensible Republicans, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, claim they are.

But with Ryan’s views on the poor and needy, it is clear he is a phony Catholic, a phony Christian.

He believes all fetuses should be protected until born, but then a poor child and its mother are on their own, and if disabled, well,that is no responsibility of government.

Shame on him and his ilk in the Republican Party, who if there is true justice, should be kicked out of office by the voters, and should pay in the next world for their horrific sins, as they are NOT following the teachings of Jesus Christ, who would be shocked at their lack of concern for those less fortunate.

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!

Revolutionary Moment In History Of House Of Representatives, Unmatched Since 1910 “Revolt” Against Speaker Joseph Cannon!

A century ago, in October 1910, Democrats and progressive Republicans united to state a “coup” in the House of Representatives, stripping Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon of his absolute power to decide committee appointments and control the legislative agenda all by himself.

Now in June 2016, the Democrats have staged a one day sit down, demanding a vote on a gun control measure. They proceeded to prevent normal routine in the House of Representatives, and to shout down any attempt at taking action on other legislative business.

While Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was befuddled, and waited until 10pm to attempt normal legislative business, which failed, and led to the end of the official session until after the 4th of July recess, the Democrats have drawn attention to the issue of gun regulation, and it is clear they will defy Ryan again when the House of Representatives comes back into session next month.

The effect will be to put the Republicans on notice, that it is time that they stopped being captives of the National Rifle Association and Wayne La Pierre. The issue will be a major one in November, and hopefully, might cause a massive switch of seats, putting the Democrats into the majority again, although that is still highly difficult to do, as 30 or more seats would need to be gained.

But taking action, led by the icon civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis of Georgia is better than just doing nothing! Hope springs eternal!

A Disastrous Potential Presidential Ticket: Donald Trump And Newt Gingrich (Six Marriages, Horrible Temperament)!

A rumor is growing that Donald Trump might select former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia to be his running mate for Vice President.

That would be a totally disastrous potential Presidential ticket, and it is hard to imagine it actually occurring.

Between them, they have SIX marriages and FOUR divorces, an equal number of wives, and of adultery!

Both are egotistical narcissists, both braggarts, bullies, obnoxious and horrible temperaments.

Both would be in their 70s, unprecedented in that respect.

It is hard to imagine them working well together, since both wish to be totally in the spotlight.

It is true that Gingrich would bring Washington DC and Congressional experience to the ticket, as he is the consummate DC insider.

But it would not improve Trump’s slim chances to win, and would only insure his Republican base without expanding it one iota!

It would, however, cause lots of media publicity and attention, and a VP debate with whoever the Democratic nominee would be, presents a fascinating theatrical event!

Can Losers Of Presidential Race Come Back To Win? Yes And No!

Now that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has made clear that he will not accept a draft for the Presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, speculation is beginning that former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney might make himself available.

There is no way that seems possible, as Romney has totally alienated Donald Trump supporters, who would refuse to back him at the convention or in November, but the question arises whether or not losers of Presidential elections actually have been able to come back and be elected President at a later time.

The answer is both Yes and No!

Five times, a Presidential loser has come back to win, as follows:

Thomas Jefferson, lost in 1796 and won in 1800.

Andrew Jackson, lost in 1824 and won in 1828

William Henry Harrison, lost in 1836 and won in 1840

Grover Cleveland, lost in 1888 and won in 1892, only President to win (1884), lose, and then win again.

Richard Nixon, lost in 1960 and won in 1968

However, six other Presidential candidates lost more than once as follows:

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney lost in 1804 and 1808.

Henry Clay lost in 1824, 1832, and 1844.

Martin Van Buren lost in 1840 as a Democrat, after having won in 1836, and then again lost in 1848 as the nominee of the Free Soil Party.

William Jennings Bryan lost in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

Thomas E. Dewey lost in 1944 and 1948.

Adlai Stevenson lost in 1952 and 1956.

Additionally, three third party candidates have lost more than once as follows:

Socialist nominee Eugene Debs lost in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920, a total of five times.

Socialist nominee Norman Thomas lost in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948, a total of six times.

Reform Party nominee Ross Perot lost in 1992 and 1996, the first time as an Independent.

Paul Ryan Boomlet For President Begun By John Boehner: Really?

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has now been endorsed and promoted to be the Republican Presidential nominee by former Speaker John Boehner.

Boehner does not exactly have great popular support in the Republican Party, and the Tea Party Movement and other right wing extremists do not wish to give Boehner “the time of day”, having, basically, forced him out of the Speakership.

Ryan had said he did not want to be Speaker, but caved in to pressure.  The question is whether he can now be pressured to promote a revolt against front runner Donald Trump.

The Republican establishment wants Ryan to run, feeling that John Kasich has little chance of success in his quest to stop both Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, who no one in the Republican Establishment can tolerate!

If Ryan, who is the presiding officer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, were to lead a revolt, it will likely cause turmoil on the scale of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, which doomed the chances of the Democrats to elect their nominee, Hubert Humphrey in that election year.

It is clear, as this blogger has stated for awhile, that the Republican Party, as we know it, is done, and that Ryan cannot stop that demise.

If a third party movement starts, it insures that the Democrats and Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency, the Senate, a slight chance to gain the House majority, and transform the Supreme Court, in a truly “wave” election.

And if, somehow, Ryan ends up taking the GOP Presidential nomination, it will bring back memories of the 2012 Presidential election, when Ryan was “conquered” by Vice President Joe Biden in their VP debate.

Yes, Ryan has a handsome face, and youth, but he is also a flawed candidate, which this blogger emphasized four years ago, causing for awhile a major right wing attack on this blogger, including in THE BLAZE, the media creation of talk show host Glenn Beck.  How dare I attack Paul Ryan, showing his many faults and shortcomings!

Also, were Ryan to be the Presidential nominee, it would be only the second time that a sitting member of the House has been the nominee of a major political party for President, with the only  time being Ohio Congressman James A. Garfield, who was elected in 1880, and then, sadly, was mortally wounded by an assassin, Charles J. Guiteau,  which is covered in Chapter 3 of my new book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).

So the track record on a Congressman going to the Presidency is not a good marker for success!

The Dire Need For A Change In The Presidential Succession Act Of 1947

In 1947, the new Republican controlled 80th Congress, the first Congress to have both houses being Republican controlled since 1928, acted in revenge against the memory of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt by changing the Presidential Succession Act of 1886.

That law in 1886 made the succession to the Presidency to be the cabinet officers after the Vice President, including in order, the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General, Postmaster General, Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Interior. The original law in 1792 made the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House next in line before the cabinet members, and after the Vice President.

This was changed to the present situation in 1947, that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and then the President Pro Tempore of the Senate would succeed after the Vice President and before the cabinet officers.

This has  led to people in the line of succession who, much of the time, have been the opposition party to the President, as in 1947-1949 under President Harry Truman; 1955-1961 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower; 1969-1974 under President Richard Nixon; 1974-1977 under President Gerald Ford; 1981-1987 in the House under President Ronald Reagan; 1987-1989 under President Ronald Reagan; 1989-1993 under President George H. W. Bush; 1995-2001 under President Bill Clinton; 2001-2003 in the Senate under President George W. Bush; 2007-2009 under President George W. Bush; and 2011-2017 under President Barack Obama.

This is not proper, to have the opposition party have the potential to take over the Presidency through having a Speaker of the House and/or a President Pro Tempore of the Senate of their party, rather than having the continuity of the administration though the cabinet members chosen by the President.

So 44 years between 1947 and 2017, out of a total number of 70 years, or just about two thirds of the time, the opposition party has been two heartbeats away from the Presidency, undermining continuity of government.

Also, just because someone is Speaker of the House (elected by one Congressional district) or President Pro Tempore of the Senate ( an often very old person in that position, elected from one state, who has longevity of service) does not make such a person qualified to be President, as much as a Secretary of State, Treasury, etc does!

So while it is unlikely to happen anytime soon, there really is a need to change the Presidential Succession Act back to the one passed and in effect from 1886-1947!

House Speaker Becomes A Race: Kevin McCarthy, Jason Chaffetz, Or Daniel Webster? YES, Daniel Webster (Not The Famous One)!

There is now developing a real race for who should be Speaker of the House, in the wake of the resignation of John Boehner.  It will make us miss Boehner, for all of the faults and shortcomings he possesses!

Present House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has flubbed badly in his comment on the House Benghazi Committee investigating the attack in Libya which led to the death of the ambassador and three others on September 11. 2011.  That committee has been in business longer than any special committee in the history of the United States, and is seen as a purely partisan venture. McCarthy made it clear that the committee was formed to weaken  Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, and now has tried to backtrack that statement, infuriating Jason Chaffetz of Utah, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has decided to challenge McCarthy for the Speakership.

McCarthy comes across as incompetent and a poor candidate to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and his inability to use good judgment on what to say publicly, plus his lack of experience (only nine years), lack of accomplishments, and his use of words such as “Hungria” for the nation “Hungary”. and making up a new word for Hillary Clinton (untrustable) instead of “untrustworthy”, raises intelligent people’s eyes.

But Chaffetz himself, while better spoken, has only seven years in the House, two fewer than McCarthy, and he was a former Democrat, who actually campaigned for Democrat Michael Dukakis for President in 1988, before meeting former President Ronald Reagan in 1990, seemingly transforming his  life.

To top it off, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster from central Florida, a distant relation of the famous Massachusetts Senator of the same name before the Civil War, but no match for his ancestor, is also in the race, and is seen as a Tea Party candidate for the Speakership.

This whole embarrassment of the battle between McCarthy, Chaffetz, and Webster makes clear that the nation is in trouble, having to look at any of these three men as being two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it will make us wish John Boehner had not resigned.

And the job to make the House Republicans be united and responsible, with the Tea Party element of 40 or so members the balancing act, means tough times ahead for the GOP, and gives a glimmer of hope that the Democrats might, maybe, be able to squeak out a majority of seats in the 2016 elections, but considered highly unlikely!