Stanford University

Cory Booker And Kamala Harris Appointments To Senate Judiciary Committee A Boost To Their Predicted Presidential Candidacies In 2020

The appointment of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris to the Senate Judiciary Committee is a boost to both legislators, both considered likely Presidential candidates a year from now.

Booker is African American, and Harris is mixed race with a parent born in Jamaica and a parent born in India.

Both have exceptional credentials, with Booker having bachelors degree in political science and masters degree in Sociology from Stanford; a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in American history; and a law degree from Yale Law School. He served on the Newark City Council from 1998-2002; as Newark Mayor from 2006-2013, and has been in the US Senate since 2013. He has also served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Environment and Public Works Committee. He is an impressive orator and highly intelligent and qualified.

Kamala Harris graduated Howard University in Washington, DC, and Hasting Law School of the University of California. She worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and the City Attorney’s Office, and then was elected and served as San Francisco District Attorney from 2004-2011, followed by election and service as California Attorney General from 2011-2017, and was elected to the Senate to serve beginning in 2017. She serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs; Budget Committee; and Intelligence Committee; as well as her recant appointment to the Judiciary Committee. She is highly regarded for her oratory and intellectual brilliance.

Having had the excellent experience of Barack Obama in the Presidency, we now have the possibility of another person who is not white being a future President, and very possibly over time, both of them, with Harris being 56 and Booker 51 in 2020, so the long range potential is clearly present, if not in 2020, for a future President Booker or President Harris or both over time!

The Condoleezza Rice Boomlet: An Attempt To Take Attention Off Mitt Romney’s Problems With Bain Capital And Tax Issues!

This author has written before about the speculation that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might be chosen by Mitt Romney to be his Vice Presidential running mate.

While Rice is a fascinating, intelligent, and super qualified candidate to be Vice President, and in theory, President of the United States, one would have to be drunk to believe she will be the nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President.

Rice has great foreign policy expertise, but would constantly be associated with the Iraq War, which was based on false information, and any connection with President George W. Bush right now would be toxic.

But also, it is certain that former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom often had major internal battles with her and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, would bitterly oppose her, were she on the short list for Vice President. There would be an internal battle within the party, since neoconservatives would be against her, while former President George H. W. Bush would strongly back her, but is pretty much ignored within the party apparatus, while gaining more and more respect and appreciation from the American people as he and his wife, Barbara, near 20 years since they left the White House!

Also, Rice is a socially moderate in a party which is not so, as she is pro choice on abortion, for affirmative action, and for gay rights. That makes her poisonous to evangelical Christians and Tea Party activists, who look down upon a bright woman with a mind, and willingness to speak up for what she believes in!

And underlying a lot of opposition to her is the fact of the thought of an African American woman being in line for the Presidency! What a horrifying thought to the hate mongers in the Republican Party who hate Barack Obama much more than they love America, and would allow the country to go down the tubes, rather than cooperate for the benefit of the millions of victims of the Great Recession brought about by the short sighted policies of the Bush Administration!

Besides all of the above, Condoleezza Rice has made it perfectly clear that running for office is not her thing, and she happens to like her life at Stanford University, including her freedom to speak out and write and be back in the life of the scholar! She would have to be totally crazy to give that up, particularly for a Presidential candidate who is fatally flawed, and loves power too much to wish to give influence to someone who actually is much smarter than him in so many ways!

So why is her name being floated again? The answer is to deflect attention off Mitt Romney’s problems with his lies about his association with Bain Capital, and his refusal to release multiple years of tax returns, which would create problems for him.

This is a man who has said publicly that he has paid all of the taxes required, and NOT ONE PENNY more!

God forbid that he put his country first, and show some patriotism, that his government is not the enemy that he must avoid paying taxes at all costs. He could never spend or utilize all of his vast fortune in his lifetime, or even in the lifetime of his five sons, but he has this obsessive need to keep on having MORE and MORE, and must have power, because he is a control freak who looks down on the American citizenry as people he “can fire” in order to cut government spending, and to enrich himself and his oligarchic class of one percenters!

Condoleezza Rice may be a critic of Barack Obama, but her reputation, already damaged by association with George W. Bush, would suffer further damage if she dared to associate with Mitt Romney, to the extent that she would agree to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Do not hold your breath, as this is NOT going to happen!

The “Tantalizing” Concept Of Condoleezza Rice For Vice President: A Mirage!

A CNN poll of Republican and Independent voters as to who they would like to see as the GOP Vice Presidential nominee came up with a surprise Number One–former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice!

This is a major surprise, as Rice’s name has not been listed as a realistic possibility, and she has not shown any interest in the past in running for public office, preferring to live the scholarly life at Stanford University, after eight grueling years in the midst of stress and tension as a major figure in the George W. Bush Administration.

Having been involved in a rivalry with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Rice seemed perturbed at the memoirs of both men, and a need to defend her record and stands on issues. To believe that she would wish to get into the political fray is beyond comprehension of any intelligent observer.

But the thought of Rice running is “tantalizing” to many, as there are definite pluses, but also, however, minuses if she ran.

The pluses include:

Rice has broad and extensive experience in all areas of foreign and national security policy, a major plus for Mitt Romney, who has none of it.

Rice is highly intelligent, and would be a great contrast to Sarah Palin, the VIce Presidential nominee four years ago.

Rice, as a black woman, would possibly fill the image of diversity, even though most blacks would not vote for Romney because Rice is on the ticket. Maybe somewhat more women would vote if she was on the ticket, but not very much.

The minuses are:

Rice is a reminder of the George W. Bush Administration, and its failure to prevent September 11, and its long, drawn out wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rice has no political experience, and has never been involved in domestic affairs responsibility of any kind.

Rice would likely be a problem for many Republicans, because she is pro choice on abortion and open minded on gay rights, two areas that would disqualify her for many hard line right wing Republicans and conservatives.

Rice is a strong willed person, and would not fit well into being a Vice President under a person, Mitt Romney, who seems to have traditional views of the roles of women, which Rice does not fit very well.

So it is interesting to think about the possibility of Condoleezza Rice, but don’t put betting money on the idea that she would indeed run for Vice President with Mitt Romney!

A Political Figure To Watch: Could Cory Booker Be The Next Black President In 2017?

Cory Booker is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey since July 2006.

Cory Booker is a handsome, charismatic African American politician, who has been very effective as Mayor of an embattled city with a horrible reputation.

Cory Booker is well spoken and impressive on the stump.

Cory Booker has ambitions to be Governor of New Jersey, and it is expected he will run for that position in November 2013, making that race the major one to follow in an off year election year, when few major political races are conducted.

Cory Booker would have Governor Chris Christie, the hero of conservatives and Republicans as his competition, with Christie running for a second term.

Nothing could make progressives and Democrats happier than Cory Booker retiring Chris Christie from the Governorship a year and a half from now.

Chris Christie was the original “Bully” Republican Governor, setting a standard for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and Maine Governor Paul LePage, among other GOP Governors who have warred on public workers, women, the elderly, and the middle class and the poor since 2010!

Christie is the “Godfather” of the loudmouths, the blusterers, the aggressive nasty Governors who have made clear that they are owned by right wing elements, including the Koch Brothers, and the major corporations!

Chris Christie needs to be sent back home, so we don’t have to see his blustering, his obnoxiousness, his boasting, his victimizing nature, a man truly obscene in his public utterances, making one wish to vomit in response! This kind of mean, nasty, “in your face” politics is not good for America!

IF Cory Booker indeed does run for Governor, and wins the office, a very powerful office, one of the most powerful Governorships of one of the major top fifteen states of the Union, he would have to be seen as a prime front runner for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the Presidential Election of 2016!

Booker is not only very articulate, but he is also very courageous and bold, as shown by the news that he rescued a neighbor yesterday from a raging fire, and sustained second degree burns and smoke inhalation. This proves just what a hero he really is, adding to the admiration many have for him.

With seven and a half years as Mayor of a major urban area, Newark, and three years as New Jersey Governor, how could one argue that Cory Booker is not qualified to become our second black President, and as it turns out, second CONSECUTIVE black President?

This is the kind of person we need to focus on as a strong possibility to succeed President Barack Obama, or if unfortunate enough to have President Mitt Romney in office, to deny him a second term in the White House!

Cory Booker is definitely a man to watch over the next few years! He would be a youthful 47 upon taking the oath as President in 2017, the same age as Barack Obama was when he took the oath of office in 2009. We could do far worse than a President Cory Booker!

A good friend of MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow when they both attended Stanford University, he not only earned a degree at Stanford, but also a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, and a law degree at Yale University. He also has been given credit for urban transformation reform, a real leader in reviving declining urban areas such as Newark, producing a renaissance! He has been subject to threats of death from gang elements who do not want to see Newark and other urban areas transformed away from crime and drug infestation and toward economic renewal, and is a true example of courage more than almost any American politician!

So do NOT take your eye off Cory Booker, as he may be the future of the Democratic Party!

The Collapse Of The Middle Class: Threat To American Stability

Growing income inequality is turning many middle class neighborhoods into slums or ghettos, as poverty spreads rapidly, accelerated by the Great Recession, which began in 2008.

A Stanford University study demonstrates this reality: In 2007, only 44 percent of families lived in middle class neighborhoods, down from 65 percent in 1970. And one third of families lived in neighborhoods of affluence or poverty, up from just 15 percent in 1970.

The affluent are being segregated from the declining middle class, and becoming less willing to support broad based schools, parks, and public transportation projects that benefit the general public. Fourteen percent of families now live in affluent neighborhoods, compared to seven percent in 1970.

The effects of the growth of poverty is that children from poverty backgrounds have less access to quality education and support networks to encourage accomplishment and work goals.

This reality is showing up in educational accomplishments, as the standardized test scores now show a gap of 40 percent, a bigger gap than four decades ago. And college completion of children from high income families is more than half the population, up about one third from twenty years ago, and less than ten percent among low income families, up from five percent.

As everyone should know, education is the bridge to success and social mobility, so this Stanford study is extremely troubling for the long run of social stability in America.

This is one of the major reasons for the Occupy Wall Street movement, as it is manifesting itself, not only in New York City but all across the nation.

Florida Governor Rick Scott And Education Goals: War On The Social Sciences And Humanities!

Florida Governor Rick Scott and other Republicans in the state legislature have declared “war” on the Social Sciences and Humanities areas of the college curriculum, claiming that they wish to emphasize areas of knowledge, including science and technology majors, which are easier fields to promote job growth in the state.

Since when is it the role of politicians to dictate fields of study for students, as if that is the only purpose of education and learning? Scott’s suggestion to work against anthropology as a major, and other legislators’ attempts to undermine psychology and political science fields, is only the beginning of the promotion of mind control by people who do not give a damn about the purposes of higher education!

One should pursue his or her dreams and interests in colleges and universities, as the purpose of education is to open up one’s mind to new ideas, and the ultimate reality is that, as Steve Jobs said in his Stanford University commencement speech in 2005, that pursuit of one’s interests has a role in making one happy, that one must love what he or she does to be productive!

Times may be difficult now, but to work to destroy or de-emphasize whole fields of learning is anti intellectual and anti education to the extreme! Not everyone is motivated to go into the areas of science or technology, and society needs a mix of people with all kinds of interests and passions!

Education is not just based on job needs, and politicians should not have the power or authority to dictate budget cuts, which should be left to faculty and administrators at the institutions!

Universities that would gut whole programs because of the issue of money or immediate employment would be a travesty of the whole concept of education, which is to prepare for LIFE, not just employment!