Texas

Former Presidents George W. Bush And Barack Obama Come Out Against Trump, And Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, And Jimmy Carter Are Also Opponents

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both made speeches on Thursday, denouncing the policies and mentality of the Trump Presidency, but without mentioning his name.

Bush has never criticized his successor, Barack Obama, but he is clearly, along with his brother Jeb, and his parents George HW and Barbara Bush, willing to speak out against the nativism, nationalism, isolationism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump.

Obama has avoided direct attacks, but spoke in a similar vein as Bush.

Their opposition has been joined with utterances by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and indirectly by the elder Bushes.

So all five living former Presidents have become critics of a man who has strongly attacked all of them.

And all five former Presidents are co-sponsors of a hurricane relief concert for the benefit of the victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. All five will be attending the Texas A & M concert this evening, and that will make for a rare photo of five living former Presidents, which has only been accomplished three times before–1861-1862 during the Civil War and the early Presidency of Abraham Lincoln; 1993-1994 in the first year of the Bill Clinton Presidency; and 2001-2004 during the second Bush Administration.

Additionally, all five former living Presidents will be with their wives, five former First Ladies—Rosalyn Carter, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama, an amazing development, since both the older Bush and Carter are now 93, and their wives are 92 and 90, respectively.

They are adding to their stature, as responsible and statesmanlike, something that Donald Trump is incapable of accomplishing.

The Graham-Cassidy Last Ditch Attempt To Destroy ObamaCare: Proof That Republicans Do Not Care About Americans Having Health Care!

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are trying to ram through a last ditch attempt at destroying ObamaCare, and putting up to 32 million people off of affordable health care.

This proves that Republicans do not care about Americans having health care, and yet they are supposedly Pro-Life, but only until a fetus is born, and after that, if you are poor, tough on you!

Graham is outrageous enough to say that ObamaCare is “Socialism”, which most certainly is NOT so!

It is very similar to RomneyCare in Massachusetts and to the American Enterprise Institute–Bob Dole–Newt Gingrich plan of 1993-94 in opposition to HillaryCare, promoted by First Lady Hillary Clinton.

It keeps the health care system under private insurance companies, so how is it “Socialism”?

But Graham must think that Social Security and Medicare are “Socialism”, but vast majorities of the American people like both programs, but of course, the Republicans would love to destroy both, even though the middle class and the poor benefit from them.

The battle must be continued to keep ObamaCare, but work to IMPROVE it, as all government programs can certainly be improved over time.

It now seems that Senator John McCain of Arizona has come to the rescue once again, as he stated today that he could not, in good conscience, support the bill, even though it is sponsored by his closest friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham. Now that is principle, a rare virtue in the Senate in recent years.

It is also believed that two women, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who joined with McCain a month ago on the earlier rejection of a similar bill, will do so again, and Rand Paul of Kentucky is a definite NO vote this time, but because he feels the bill keeps remnants of ObamaCare, which he wishes to reject completely. So he is NOT a hero, but then he and his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul are both libertarian whackos!

If Joe Arpaio Ran For US Senate, He Would Be Oldest First Term Elected Senator At Age 86 And Seven And A Half Months!

Donald Trump is suggesting that former Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, just pardoned by Trump, run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate against Republican critic Senator Jeff Flake next year in Arizona.

Whether Arpaio would actually take such a step is unsettled, and it would seem that Arpaio would be unlikely to win the nomination or election, with both Flake and Senator John McCain highly critical of him, and of Trump’s pardon of the controversial former Sheriff in Phoenix.

However, were Arpaio to run and be successful, he would be the oldest first term U S Senator ever elected in American history, at age 86 and 7 and a half months in January 2019, making him older than the oldest members of the present US Senate, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Utah Senator and President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Previously, only two US Senators were sworn in at an older age than Arpaio would be, but both were appointed to finish out a term, not elected by popular vote.

Andrew Jackson Houston of Texas, son of the famous Sam Houston, served by appointment for 67 days to fill a vacancy from April 21, 1941 to June 26, 1941 as a member of the Democratic Party, and he was 86 years 10 months and 1 day old when he became a member of the Senate. His brief term ended with his death, and he had been ill most of the time while a Senator, mostly being in a hospital during his tenure in the upper chamber. His death came five days after his 87th birthday.

Rebecca Felton of Georgia was the first woman to serve in the US Senate, and the only one to date from Georgia, and the oldest person ever sworn in to the US Senate, at age 87 years, 3 months and 24 days old, and serving only one day in the Senate as a Democrat from November 21 to November 22, 1922. Her husband had served in the House of Representatives, and Rebecca Felton had been a prominent reformer in the Progressive Era, an advocate of women suffrage and equal pay for equal work for women, as well as prison reform. However, at the same time, Felton supported white supremacy and had been a slave owner in her younger years, and had spoken in favor of lynching of African Americans, so her so called “Progressivism” had major shortcomings. She died at age 94 in 1930.

After Seven Years, Republicans Seem Ready To Accept Reforms Of ObamaCare Through BiPartisan Deal With Democrats!

After seven years of constant and vehement opposition of Republicans to Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, it now seems as if the Republican Party in Congress is about ready to “throw in the towel”, and accept the continuation of ObamaCare with reforms and changes brought about by bipartisan cooperation with Democrats.

The statement of Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, conceding the likelihood of giving up the fight to obliterate ObamaCare, was a stunning moment of concession, and shows how the Republican Party is well aware of the impact of trying to end health care coverage for 20-30 million under ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion.

The fury of constituents at town halls is very clear, and is a sign that if enough reaction on any injustice can be promoted by those who want to prevent destructive action, it can actually lead to concessions.

But this also makes clear the total panic of the GOP about the upcoming midterm elections in 16 months, which could lead to a Democratic controlled House of Representatives.

There is even concern that the Republicans could lose the Senate, although that still seems a real long shot, as only 8 Republicans, compared to 25 Democrats, face election in 2018.

The only way possible for a Democratic controlled Senate in 2019-2020 would be if all 25 Democrats or their successors retained those seats, highly unlikely, and to win three of the eight GOP seats, but that would mean winning not only Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada and Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, but also Ted Cruz’s seat in Texas.

To kick the obnoxious, egotistical, and arrogant Ted Cruz out of the Senate would be a major coup, but to expect it to occur is highly doubtful at this point.

All of the Senate seats will be discussed at the proper time over the next 16 months on this blog, but right now, the emphasis must be on the gaining of the House of Representatives, by winning 24 or more seats, and immediately, the retention of ObamaCare, with necessary reforms!

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

The House Freedom Caucus: Extreme Right Wing Group Destructive Of Common Decency And Compassion For Elderly, Poor, Disabled

The House Freedom Caucus is a group of about 30 extreme right wing Republicans, who are the balance of power in the House Republican caucus.

They are the outcome of the Tea Party Movement, begun in 2009 when Barack Obama became President, and they are now the biggest problem for President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, as they work to destroy Obama Care, and show no concern about the 24 million Americans who will lose health care insurance if the Republican Party achieves its goal, now about to be voted on in the House of Representatives in the next few days or weeks.

An examination of the membership of this caucus shows that 60 percent are from the South (including three from Texas, three from Virginia, three from Florida, two from Alabama,and two from South Carolina, and one each from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and West Virginia), and three more from Arizona, one from Colorado, one from New Mexico, one from Idaho, one from Michigan, two from Ohio, one from Iowa, one from Maryland, and one from Pennsylvania, and they have no concern about the lives or health of the sick, disabled, elderly, and poor who will lose health care.

This group has no common decency or compassion, and if allowed to hold sway, their goal is to destroy the federal government and its agencies, and to restore America to what it was before the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

This group believes in unbridled capitalism, and supports the increase in wealth of the top one percent of the nation, at the expense of the dwindling middle class and the poor, and includes in its midst many who are openly racist, nativist, misogynist, and homophobic.

They are really those who prefer chaos and disarray. and are anarchists, who threaten the whole idea of the faith they profess to believe in, Christianity, as they fail to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and instead follow the beliefs of Ayn Rand. Selfishness and greed and hate are what motivates them. Saving taxes for the rich is their only goal.

So we are in for very difficult times for millions of Americans, as the Trump nightmare continues!

How Slim Margins Decide So Many Presidential Elections And Affect American History And Government Policies!

The argument that many ill informed people have is that “voting does not matter”, when just the opposite is true.

As we begin 2017 and the reality of President Trump in 19 days, a look at history tells us clearly how small numbers of votes or percentages of votes make a dramatic difference, as demonstrated in the following elections in American history:

1844– a switch of a few thousand votes in New York would have given the election to Henry Clay, instead of James K. Polk, and the difference was the small third party, the Liberty Party.

1848–a switch of a few thousand votes, again in New York, would have given the election to Lewis Cass, instead of Zachary Taylor, but Free Soil Party nominee, Martin Van Buren, former Democratic President and from New York, won ten percent of the total national vote, and threw the election to Whig candidate Taylor in New York.

1876—the dispute over the contested votes of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida led to a special Electoral Commission set up, which rewarded all of those three states’ electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, although Democrat Samuel Tilden led nationally by about 250,000 popular votes.

1880–James A. Garfield won the popular vote by the smallest margin ever, about 2,000 votes, and won the big state of New York by only 20,000 votes, in defeating his opponent Winfield Scott Hancock.

1884–Grover Cleveland won his home state of New York by about 1,000 votes, which decided the election, and nationally only by about 57,000 votes over James G. Blaine.

1888–Grover Cleveland won the national popular vote by about 90,000, but lost in close races in his home state of New York and opponent Benjamin Harrison’s home state of Indiana, so lost the Electoral College, as Harrison became President. The Harrison lead in New York was less than 14,000 votes and in Indiana, less than 2,000.

1916—Woodrow Wilson won California by less than 4,000 votes, but enough to elect him to the White House over Republican Charles Evans Hughes.

1948–Harry Truman won three states by less than one percent–Ohio, California and Illinois–over Thomas E. Dewey, and that decided the election.

1960–John F. Kennedy won Illinois by about 8,000 votes; Texas by about 46,000 votes; and Hawaii by under 200 votes, and only had a two tenths of one percentage point popular vote victory nationally, about 112,000 votes, over Richard Nixon.

1976–Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford by two percentage points, but a switch of 5,600 votes in Ohio and 3,700 votes in Hawaii would have given the election to Ford.

2000—Al Gore lost Florida by 537 votes, in the final judgment of the Supreme Court, which intervened in the election, and had he won Florida, he would have been elected President, even though he won the national popular vote by about 540,000. Bush also won New Hampshire by only about 7,000 votes, but won the Electoral College 271-266.

2016–Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by about 2.85 million, but lost the crucial states of Michigan by about 10,000; Wisconsin by about 22,000; and Pennsylvania by about 46,000, to Donald Trump, so together about 79,000 votes decided the Electoral College.

So the idea that voting is not important, does not matter, is proved wrong so many times in American history! Every vote does indeed count, and has long range implications on who sits in the White House, and what policies are pursued, which affect all of us!

Totally Inexperienced And Unqualified Appointees In Trump Administration: The Triumph Of The Neophytes

Donald Trump is a neophyte, someone with zero government experience related to the position he competed for, and he has moved toward bringing total neophytes into his close circle.

Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State
Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy
Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

Only Rick Perry has been in government, as Texas Governor, but he is no expert on energy issues, and is best remembered for being unable to name the Department of Energy as one of the government cabinet agencies he wanted to eliminate, were he elected President. And he received Cs, Ds, and Fs in science courses at Texas A & M University!

The other three other than Tillerson are out to destroy the purpose of their government cabinet departments, and Tillerson is a pure corporate guy, who has no background in foreign policy at all, except that he has made business deals with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump is destroying the whole concept of experience and competence in these and many other appointments he has made, the worst group ever of appointees of any modern President!

Totally Unqualified For Cabinet: Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Rex Tillerson, And They Should All Be Rejected By US Senate!

Donald Trump has selected three cabinet members who have absolutely no background for the positions they have been chosen for.

Ben Carson was a pediatric surgeon, who was conveniently given a “golden parachute” to leave Johns Hopkins Hospital since his behavior was becoming strange and weird, as people watching the Presidential campaign certainly noticed. He has NO qualifications to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, other than that he grew up in a poor family and lived in public housing in Detroit.

Rick Perry was 14 year Governor of Texas, and is not the brightest bulb in American politics, and when he sought the Presidency in 2011, he could not recall the Energy Department was one of the cabinet agencies he thought should be closed down. Now he is nominated to head that agency, although he has no knowledge of nuclear weapons or energy, and received Cs, Ds, and Fs in Science courses at Texas A & M University.

Rex Tillerson has been CEO of Exxon Mobil, and has never served in government, and is a chum of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who gave him the highest honor that can be bestowed on a foreigner, and they have done oil deals together and get along splendidly. But that is alarming to John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and other Republicans, as well as Democrats, and would make Ronald Reagan turn over in his grave, as Barack Obama said today in a news conference, that such a pro Russian oil executive with ZERO knowledge of foreign policy, should be the nominee for Secretary of State.

All three should be stopped in committee by the Republicans or by filibuster by the Democrats in the Senate, as all three are a disgrace to the positions they have been nominated for by Donald Trump!

The Electoral College Future May Be Bright For Democrats Soon, With Growing Hispanic Population In North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona

Democrats are rightfully very gloomy one month after the election, with the close vote but loss in three “Blue” states–Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

But when one looks down the road, so to speak, the long range future of the party is bright, since the growth of Hispanic-Latino population, and even the Asian American population, is going to have the effect of changing “Red” states to “Blue” over the next decade.

North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona are moving toward a major change in their population, which cannot be reversed, and the Electoral College advantage will definitely be in favor of the Democrats, as a result.

North Carolina with 15 electoral votes, Georgia with 16 electoral votes, Texas with 38 electoral votes, and Arizona with 11 electoral votes, are all growing and becoming more population of these racial minorities, and all four states will have a growth in electoral votes after the Census of 2020 and reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.

As it is now, these four states have 80 electoral votes, but will have a few more in the 2020s, more than enough to overcome the 46 electoral votes of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The likelihood of any other of the remaining 15 solid “Blue” states, numbering 15 of the 20 states Hillary Clinton won, going “Red” are extremely unlikely—as the five New England states, four Middle Atlantic states and DC, two Midwestern states, and four Pacific Coast states are all rock solid. The 5 “swing” states that still went to Hillary Clinton–New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico–are also extremely unlikely to swing “Red”, as they did not give in to the sway of Donald Trump. The three western states are becoming more Hispanic and Asian American every year, and Virginia is influenced by its growing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, and New Hampshire by its proximity to Boston. Only New Hampshire might go to the Republicans, but the other four seem certain to remain in the Democratic camp, so New Hampshire with 4 electoral votes is not significant enough to worry about.

So the future is bright, but meanwhile, progressives have to build state parties and win seats in both houses of Congress, a tall order in the short run, but with the hope that long term, the prognosis is much better.

Remember that the three states taken by Trump, all in the Rust Belt, are likely to lose some seats in reapportionment, while the growing states likely to go “Blue” are all to gain seats, so the Electoral College future strongly favors the Democrats.

Just now, if one imagines those four “Red” states going Democratic in the future, the electoral vote of 232 for Hillary Clinton would become 312 with the 80 electoral votes!

And of course, do not write off that Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania could revert to the Democratic camp, as the Trump wins were very small margin, less than one percent of all votes cast in the three states, and less than 80,000 votes in total!