US House Of Representatives

The Future Of The Republican Party: Rob Portman Vs. Mike Huckabee As A Symbol!

With Gay Marriage rapidly expanding, by refusal of the Supreme Court to stop it in eleven states, raising the total of states to 30 and counting, the Republican Party now faces its future!

With a majority of states and population now supporting or accepting gay marriage, and with a majority of people under 50, and even a majority of Catholics and even evangelical Christians in support, how long will the Republican Party hold out and be on the wrong side of history?

Do they wish to be recorded and remembered in the long run for their refusal to accept that marriage is NOT something to be voted on, to have a popular vote (which would not be lost in any case) on a basic human right, both in race in Loving V. Virginia and on sexual orientation now? Do they wish to be seen for what they are now, biased, prejudiced, hateful, narrow minded, and allowing religious beliefs of some people to dictate the lives of everyone else, when we have separation of church and state?

Conservatives were wrong on civil rights for African Americans, wrong on interracial marriage, wrong on women’s rights, wrong on immigration then and now, and wrong on gay rights and marriage, and for the Republicans to continue to follow their hateful, narrow minded views, will guarantee the demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

The Republican Party has a choice! It is time for MORE Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors and other office holders to come out in support of gay marriage NOW! So far, only four sitting US Senators and a few members of the House of Representatives have had the courage to speak up. The Senators are Liza Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

The GOP will have a massive problem being elected to the House and Senate majorities in 2016, as it is, and the suddenly emerging “dark horse” status of Rob Portman, the only one of the above four Senators, who MIGHT consider running for President, and have a shot at being the nominee, present the Republican Party with a choice!

Either demand that any GOP nominee accept the inevitable, OR nominate Senator Portman as the most legitimate candidate for 2016, bypassing all the other extremist, lunatic, whacky candidates in the field, picking a moderate mainstream conservative as the future of the party!

Republicans, reject Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and anyone else who refuses to accept gay marriage, and ONLY support a person such as Rob Portman, who has accepted it, and is from a key swing state, Ohio, which every winning President has won except in 1960 in modern times!

It is true that Portman supported gay rights and gay marriage due to his son coming out as gay, but he could have done what many so called “religious” people do, and repudiated his son, a most despicable act for any so called “religious” person to do, a mockery of the idea of religiosity!

If the GOP decides to follow the route of the above candidates who have made it clear that they will not accept gay marriage, the ideal candidate for them would be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a once seriously mainstream conservative candidate for President in 2008, who has gone off the deep end, become a lunatic, a bigoted man with crazy views, since he joined Fox News Channel, and now mirrors the lunatic right wing talk show hosts on radio, as well as Fox News Channel!

Huckabee has made clear that he will NOT accept what is happening on gay marriage, and if the GOP continues to give in to Supreme Court actions or lack of action on gay marriage, that he will leave the Republican Party!

The best thing the GOP could do is repudiate Huckabee, who has already destroyed his name in history, and have him leave the Republican Party, and let the swinging door hit him in his rear end, or in fact, kick him out the door, declaring to him and others like him, “good riddance!”

The best thing the GOP could do is nominate Rob Portman, or others who finally accept gay rights and gay marriage, and look to a future of NOT accepting prejudice, bias, and the power of the Religious Right, which should be escorted to the door, and told to go to Hell, where they belong!

A great ticket right now would be Portman of Ohio for President and Susan Collins of Maine for Vice President, and that would also overcome the misogyny of the Republican Party!

Imagine The Possibility: FOUR Independents In US Senate In 2015-2016, All Allied With The Democratic Party Caucus!

An amazing development is now seen as possible, if not likely, at this point, 26 days before the Midterm Elections of 2014!

We already have two Independent Senators, both of whom ally with the Democratic Party caucus: Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Angus King of Maine.

A third one seems likely now, with Independent Greg Orman seen as likely to defeat long serving Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts, which would mark the first non Republican Senator elected in that state since 1932. It is believed that Orman would then ally with the Democrats.

That is itself is a surprise, but with no Democrat in the race, Orman is seen as ten points ahead of Roberts.

Suddenly, a fourth Independent Senator seems possible, in another state considered Republican territory, South Dakota, another Great Plains state!

There we have a three way race, of former Republican Governor Mike Rounds; Democrat Rick Weiland; and former Republican Senator Larry Pressler, who served 18 years in the Senate from 1979-1997, after two terms in the House of Representatives from 1975-1979, and who also was, briefly, a GOP Presidential candidate in 1980.

Right now, the race is very close, with Rounds in a slight lead, but Pressler not much behind, and Weiland a few points behind Pressler in public opinion polls.

In a three way race, anything is possible, and it seems possible and plausible that Pressler could come back, 18 years after leaving the Senate, to his old seat, an amazing development.

Pressler, while a Republican in his past, endorsed and campaigned for Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, so were he to win the Senate seat, it is seen as likely that he would caucus with the Democrats, and has criticized his party as one that has moved away from his beliefs toward the extreme Right!

So imagine a scenario where four Independents would all ally with the Democrats and insure their continued hold on the US Senate, something never having happened in the history of that legislative body!

Presidential Succession Law Of 1886-1947 Needs To Be Renewed!

In 1947, the Republican controlled 80th Congress, in a fit of partisanship and anti FDR sentiment, changed the Presidential Succession Law of 1886, enacted during the first term of President Grover Cleveland.

That law made the succession for the Presidency beyond the Vice President to be as follows: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General, and then other cabinet agencies, including Interior and Agriculture.

That law made sense, as it meant that in case of tragedy hitting the President and Vice President, that members of  that President’s cabinet, people loyal to him, knowledgeable in  foreign and defense policies, and domestic policies, would be next in  line, in case of an emergency.

But the Republicans after World War II were furious that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected four times, so not only added the 22nd Amendment, limiting any future President to two elected term, or a maximum of ten years if he succeeded during a term, but also decided to make the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate second and third in line behind the Vice President.  That, of course, meant, that if anything had happened to President Harry Truman, and with no Vice President for the remainder of that term of office, that Speaker Joseph Martin, a Republican, would have succeeded him.

The idea of having the opposition party gain the Presidency during a term due to a tragedy was not based on what was good for the nation, but pure partisanship by the GOP.

But now, the extremism in the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement right wing whackos, makes the idea of John Boehner, or some other Republican gaining power of the executive branch under a Democratic administration totally reprehensible, as that would mean a dramatic turn to the far Right, although the people voted in a Democratic administration.  Also, the President pro tempore of the Senate, a position which is honorary based on seniority in the majority party in the Senate, brings the danger, not only of partisanship, but also the reality of a very old Senator, unfit to serve, being third in line for the Presidency, and at the time of Truman, second in line to be President!

That is why there is a need to repeal the 1947 law and return to the 1886 law, which makes the most sense, as the Speaker of the House, while elected, is only chosen by one Congressional district out of 435, and is therefore NOT representative of the nation, as much as a cabinet member, selected by the President but subject to Senate confirmation, is representative of the policies and ideals of the elected President!

The likelihood of this happening short term is near zero, but it is worthy of consideration for the near future!

37 Days To The Extremely Important Midterm Elections Of 2014!

With the crisis of ISIL (ISIS) having emerged as the most dangerous threat to America since September 11, 2001, and with this being the greatest world crisis since World War II, it is now 37 days to the extremely important Midterm Elections of 2014, both in foreign and domestic policy!

We need cooperation on the foreign policy front between Congress and the President, but that is unlikely if the GOP wins control of the Senate, even if they are still able to hold on to control in the House of Representatives!

Such a scenario will undermine the war effort, and the need to deal with many domestic issues, that are desperately in need of attention!

The possible appointment of a Supreme Court Justice before the next Presidential election, and of a new Attorney General in the next few months is riding on the ability of the Democrats to keep control of the US Senate, which thankfully, seems highly likely right now!

The ability to bring about immigration reform; to protect the environment; to gain funding for infrastructure projects; to see further advancements in civil rights; to promote support for those who are in poverty to have a higher minimum wage, extension of unemployment compensation and expansion of Medicaid; to promote equal pay legislation for women; and so many other initiatives, is hanging in the balance!

It is urgent that those who believe in progressive reforms must get out the vote, and make people who are apathetic voters realize the importance of their voting, and not just for Congressional elections, but also for state governors and state legislatures, as we have seen much evidence of the damage done by Tea Party Republican Governors on so many issues!

The 113th Congress, Worst In Modern History, Refuses To Take Responsibility, And Enact A Resolution Backing War Against ISIL (ISIS)!

The 113th Congress is a disgrace, having passed fewer bills than ever in modern history; refusing to cooperate on anything with President Barack Obama, and now unwilling to take action to back the President with a formal war resolution against ISIL (ISIS) in the period leading up to the Midterm Elections, and even in the lame duck period after the election and until the 114th Congress convenes in January!

This is a disgrace, as it is the job of Congress to work with the President on war issues, and all they care about is campaigning, and keeping their jobs, with the great salary and benefits!

Since the Speaker of the House, John Boehner,  controls the calendar, the Republicans are to blame for ignoring the responsibilities of Congress to the American people!

If the people had sense, they would kick the GOP out of House control and insure the return of a Democratic majority in the US Senate!

Right Wing Propaganda About Barack Obama Refuted By Facts!

Barack Obama has been the most vilified President since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

There will be those who say that Richard Nixon was more attacked, and that George W. Bush was “victim” of constant criticism.

Yes, they were, as was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Jimmy Carter, but NONE of these Presidents came under such a barrage of total lies and mistruths on such a constant basis.

Barack Obama has been attacked on where he was born (Kenya? Indonesia? anyone?), on his being a Marxist or Communist or Socialist; of being anti white (by critics who are clearly scared of having a black President); of being anti Christian (by right wing Christians who regularly lie and deceive and distort, claiming to be following the teachings of Jesus, which they most certainly are not doing); and of being a Muslim, out to spread the Islamic faith and support terrorism!  He is also accused of being anti Semitic, and anti Israel.

Meanwhile, radical and terrorist Muslims constantly are critical of Barack Obama and have called on their supporters to find a way to kill him, and Obama has brought about more deaths of Muslim terrorists than George W. Bush or anyone else; has mounted missions to attempt to save Americans captured by the terrorists; was courageous enough to arrange the death of Osama Bin Laden, when others around him had strong doubts on the mission’s success; and now has declared war on ISIL (ISIS) and mounted a bombing campaign in both Iraq and now Syria, even though the right wing says he is afraid to go to war, and is too timid in foreign policy, all of it lies and deceit spread to ignorant people who think Obama is equivalent of a “Manchurian candidate” in the Presidency.

The charge that he is anti Semitic and anti Israel is belied by the fact of the Iron Dome system given to Israel by the United States, and the fact that ISIL (ISIS) calls Obama a President “owned by the Jews”.  Right wing Jews love to spread lies and distortion about Obama, but actually such people have complained about every American President, if they do not bow to every wish or demand of the Israeli government, while we give that nation more foreign aid than any other in the world.  So these charges are totally uncalled for, and reflect badly on those right wing Jews who spread that propaganda!

Many right wingers want to deny that Obama was ever President, and that his time in office should be not recognized as legal, as they claim his election was “stolen”, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 but won in the Supreme Court, unprecedented, but based on a declared 537 vote popular margin in Florida, his brother’s home state;  and only won in 2004, because of another disputed vote count in Ohio against John Kerry.

This author and blogger has witnessed so called “friends” who spew forth right wing and racist propaganda, shocking him at the level of hatred toward our 44th President.  One so called “friend” said, when he found out I am publishing a book on Presidential Assassinations and Attempts by next May or June, that he hoped I would have to write another chapter (meaning about the assassination of Obama), which totally infuriated me, and I am not one to get angry very easily.

Another time, visiting the Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, with my younger son, three women of about age 70, 40, and 20 were waiting with us to see a Truman documentary, and it came up in conversation that the 20 year old was visiting her relatives in Missouri, but was from Hawaii.

When I said, “so you are from Hawaii, which will have a Presidential museum in the future”, the three women in unison said “EWWWWW” to my shock, and we turned away in shock and anger, since I did not want to be rude to them, but I could not believe such sentiments, as no one ever said that about Richard Nixon or George W. Bush or anyone else!

And when the White House experienced an ‘invasion” at the North Portico last Friday, only ONE Republican openly spoke out about it, and demanded an explanation as to how the Secret Service “screwed up”, and that was New York Congressman Peter King of Long Island, New York, who is far less conservative than the leadership and masses of members of Congress from his party.  Not a peep from John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the myriad of other Republicans, including any of the likely competitors for the Presidency in 2016.  It is almost as if, secretly, they hoped for Obama’s demise, absolutely disgraceful, and reprehensible!

The right wing would suffer mightily if anything untoward happened to Obama, and if Joe Biden suddenly succeeded to the Presidency by tragedy, it would, effectively, end the Presidential Election of 2016, with Joe Biden being the equivalent of Lyndon B. Johnson after he succeeded John F. Kennedy, meaning there would be no way for any Republican to defeat a President Biden in those circumstances. Also, it would end the campaign of Hillary Clinton under those circumstances!

It is time for the right wing, on talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the think tanks that spew forth poison, to stop their attacks and show respect for our President!

Virginia: The Disgrace Of Bob McDonnell And Eric Cantor!

Virginia, the home of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson as Governors, has now seen its recent Governor, Bob McDonnell, convicted on multiple charges of abusing the office and accepting bribes from a wealthy businessman.

At the same time, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his party’s nomination in a true shock to many, now is going to Wall Street to use his influence, and make millions of dollars off of his contacts with other legislative members and powerful lobbyists.

Both of these developments are disgraceful, and show that the Republican Party in Virginia is totally corrupt, an embarrassment to a state which has had remarkably little corruption historically, as compared to most other states.

Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson would turn over in their graves if they knew how politics has deteriorated from the idealistic times of the Founding Fathers!

Any Chance Of A GOP Woman President Anytime Soon? NO!

The Republican Party is in deep trouble among women in America.

Sure, there are the religious women who are against abortion, and those women who have no problem with the male dominance and sexism of Republican office holders.

These numbers are probably about one third of the nation, and primarily in the South, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain West, not areas generally of high population.

But in the Northeast and New England, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, women as a group are outraged at the male chauvinism and sexism of Republican office holders in Congress, and even in state legislatures.

Women in polls are overwhelmingly Democrats, not so much because the Democrats are without fault or shortcomings, but because they have demonstrated concern for women’s issues, such as health care, education, child care, raising of the minimum wage, single mothers, maternity leaves, campus rapes, and so many other issues that affect women, whether single or married, young or old, every day.

And Republican women officeholders offer no relief, as they back up the sexist, chauvinist men proudly!

Yes, there are four Republican women Governors, although Jan Brewer of Arizona is leaving, and no one would perceive her as caring about women’s issues, or really, anyone but herself and her own selfish interests. She has been a disgraceful, hard hearted Governor of Arizona.

What about Mary Fallin of Oklahoma? She allowed executions to go forth that are clearly promoting “cruel and unusual punishment”, and really torture. She is a disgrace to womanhood and her own reputation!

Then there is Nikki Haley, who would have ambitions, but her record as Governor, and her lack of compassion for poor women in her state, as well as poor people generally, disqualifies her on a national level.

And then, we have Susana Martinez, probably the least objectionable of the four GOP women Governors, but still, except for her Mexican American heritage, seen as a lightweight, and really, a President from New Mexico, who has not served in national government at all? Give us all a break!

So now to the US House of Representatives! Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is leaving government, thank goodness, and yet may face prosecution in scandals involving her Presidential campaign in 2012. Did she ever have anything constructive to say in her eight years in Congress? Of course not, instead coming across as totally looney and uncaring, and ready to issue idiotic, stupid and false statements in unison with equally lunatic male colleagues such as Steve King of Iowa and Louie Gohmert of Texas as only the most outrageous of many looney male Republican colleagues in the lower chamber.

Then we have Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who causes any sane person the desire to roll eyes constantly and shake heads, as to her outrageous statements, not quite as crazy as Bachmann, but still enough to make one wonder what planet she comes from!

Then, there is Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the highest ranking woman Republican ever in the House. She is a pleasant lady, but is not seen as Presidential material, and seems lacking in true understanding of many women’s issues.

The rest of the Republican women in the House are not worthy of consideration at all on a Presidential level, and there are only 19 women Republicans in the House anyway, compared to 63 for the Democrats.

So now to the US Senate, where there are only four Republican women. Susan Collins of Maine is the most distinguished, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but neither is seen as Presidential timber, and they come from states extremely small in population, if not land area.

Deb Fischer of Nebraska is a newcomer, not particularly distinguished, and not seen as Presidential level, and finally, we have Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is often boomed as a possible future candidate, but realistically, no one should put betting money on her, although if any woman Republican presently in office were to announce for President, it would be her.

Face the facts, women Republicans are few and far between, and mostly poorly qualified, and if there is to be a woman President anytime soon, it will be a Democrat!

And those potential Presidents include Hillary Clinton, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Women In Congress And State Governorships

With the celebration of Women’s Equality Day yesterday, it is worth attention to point out statistics on women office holders in the history of America.

There have been 298 women House members, starting with Jeanette Rankin of Montana in 1917. There are 82 women House members in the present, with 62 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

There have been 44 women Senators, starting with Hattie Caraway of Arkansas in 1931, after Rebecca Felton of Georgia served for just one day in 1922. Twenty women serve as Senator in the present, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

There have been 36 woman Governors, starting with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming in 1927. Five women serve as Governor in the present, four Republicans and one Democrat.

Every state has elected women to the House of Representatives except Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota, but the last two states have elected women to the US Senate.

94th Anniversary Of Woman Suffrage Amendment 19! And Women’s Equality Day!

Today, August 26, commemorates the 94th anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Amendment 19, and is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day.

Women had to fight for the right to vote since the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, a full 72 year battle!

And yet, there are those, such as Ann Coulter, the conservative ideologue, who calls for the abolition of the 19th Amendment, because the majority of women vote Democratic!

There are one third of women who are strongly Republican, anti abortion, anti feminist, anti promotion of more laws to benefit women in their daily lives. You see this in the GOP House women members, who one has to wonder about their sanity!

But women have come too far to allow their hard earned rights, not only voting, but controlling their own destinies, without the interference of right wing forces who would love to put them back into the bedroom and the kitchen, stop working, stop being educated, and being the dutiful wife and mother as their only role!

The vast majority of women will continue to assert their basic human rights, as well they should!