US House Of Representatives

February 9, 1950 And Now: The Ugly “Red Scare” Revived!

On this day in 1950, Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy came to notice when he accused the Truman Administration of being “soft on Communism”.    This  began a nearly five year rampage of accusations against government officials, college professors, journalists, actors, and many ordinary citizens, that they were either “pinkos” or were actually Communists who had undermined the nation in favor of the interests of the Soviet Union and Communism.

Many politicians and others joined the crowd of attacks, and many others in and out of government were terrified, and kept silent, as people’s lives were ruined.  This had begun even before McCarthy became infamous, and the film TRUMBO well portrays what happened to Hollywood writers in the later 1940s, and the role of actor John Wayne, actor Ronald Reagan, and Congressman Richard Nixon, among others, in that “witch hunt”.

This is a day to recall, because it is clear that we are witnessing the beginning of attacks on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, who just became a member of the Democratic Party this past year, and is now, contending for the Democratic Presidential nomination seriously. Bernie Sanders is no danger in any sense, but he is now facing vicious attacks beginning, and they will not stop as long as he has a serious chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016.

Donald Trump has called Sanders a “Communist”, and if Sanders becomes more of a serious contender beyond his expected win in New Hampshire, then we will see a slew of such attacks by Republicans and the right wing, making Sanders out to be Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro, all wrapped in a 74 years old Senator, who is the longest serving Independent in all of American history!

This is very disturbing, and all good people MUST, whether they support or oppose Bernie Sanders, fight against a new “McCarthyism”, as to have a new period of a Red Scare is simply intolerable, and it must be exposed for the evil that it is!

Small States’ (One House Member And Two Senators) Influence In Congress Since 1945

There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!  In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.

The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!

But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.

So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.

But look at their influence:

Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,  who  was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.  Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.

Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.  He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.

Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.  Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 as  a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.

Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.  Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.

And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).

So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!

Beginning Of Rise Of Sanity? John Kasich Rises In New Hampshire Polls, And Is Endorsed By The Boston Globe!

Could it be that Republican voters in New Hampshire are starting to show some sanity?

The latest public opinion polls show a steady rise by Ohio Governor John Kasich, easily the most experienced, most qualified, and most sane and stable of the Republican Presidential field.

Understand that this blogger is not saying he is about to vote for John Kasich in the election this fall.

But were a Republican to win the White House, he could not live with any feeling of peace with any other GOP Presidential nominee.

Kasich is the best the Republicans have to offer, and he is a mainstream conservative, with faults like all candidates, but also a sense of how to govern, with his 18 years in the House of Representatives, and being Chair of the Budget Committee for many years.  And now the Boston Globe has endorsed him.

And despite issues and objections, Kasich has been one of the few Republican governors that has not been totally outrageous and disgraceful!

Ohio is still the crucial state for Republican Presidential nominees, and Kasich would have a good chance to win his home state, and maybe, therefore, win the Presidency.

Remember that EVERY elected Republican President (all but Gerald Ford) has won Ohio!

 

Potential Michael Bloomberg Independent Presidential Candidacy Complicates Election Outlook In Massive Way!

The revelation that former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (2002-2014) is considering entering the Presidential race of 2016 as an Independent complicates the election outlook in a massive way.

One could argue that an Independent candidacy will not succeed, as the best any independent or third party candidate has ever done is former President Theodore Roosevelt, running as a Progressive (Bull Moose) party candidate in 1912, ending up second rather than third, and winning six states, 88 electoral votes, and 27.4 percent of the popular vote.

But Bloomberg, the seventh wealthiest billionaire in America by 2015 statistics, and 13th wealthiest in the world with about $41 billion in assets, could upset the apple cart, and could have a real chance to win.

For one thing, as a former Democrat, then a Republican, and finally an Independent, Bloomberg proved he could govern New York City, arguably the second most difficult governing job in America next to the Presidency itself.

And as a social progressive, Bloomberg represents danger to the Democratic party and its reliable 18 “Blue” states, since a three way election could give Bloomberg the balance of power, and possibly lead to him winning some of those states, and denying Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders the Presidency, and indirectly aid the Republican nominee,  Donald Trump or whoever else it is.

And the scenario of no one winning 270 electoral votes is the nightmare, as if that happened, the House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, and having more than 26 states with a Republican majority delegation, would have the final say on who the next President is, as in long ago 1800 and 1824!

The Bloomberg candidacy will be explored later by this blogger, with more detail and analysis, but this is NOT good for the Democratic Party!

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!

Bernie Sanders, By Poll Numbers, Has A Real Chance To Defeat Hillary Clinton In Both Iowa And New Hampshire!

Hard to believe, but it looks increasingly possible that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont COULD defeat Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucuses 20 days from now, and in the New Hampshire primary 28 days from today!

Latest polls show Bernie winning New Hampshire and in the margin of error in Iowa, an astounding situation.

Hillary is starting to sharpen her attacks on Bernie, and even Bernie, who has prided himself on running cordial campaigns against opponents, is starting to be more harsh and critical than he has ever been in past campaigns for the House of Representatives and US Senate!

Polls also show that in a theoretical matchup of Bernie and Donald Trump, that he would win in a landslide, while a matchup of Hillary and Trump, Hillary is only a few points ahead!

Who would think that a declared democratic Socialist would actually have more support than the former First Lady and even Donald Trump?

It is clear that the American electorate is very unhappy with the status quo, and that explains the growing support for Sanders, over one million people, and over 2.5 million individual donations, with the average contribution being about $27, and total contributions of $73 million, only a few million less than Hillary has been able to gain!

No one can say that American politics is boring, as it is ALWAYS interesting!

“Establishment” Republicans Are Handing The Presidential Nomination To Donald Trump Or Ted Cruz: Destruction Of The GOP In Process!

The so called “Establishment” Republicans are rapidly destroying each other, and in effect, handing the nomination for President in 2016 to either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, which insures the destruction of the GOP is in process, as neither has any chance of winning the Presidency.

Trump is a total charlatan and Cruz is a right wing ideologue who makes Barry Goldwater, the disastrous 1964 GOP nominee, look like a moderate by comparison!

But instead of uniting around one candidate, and giving up their own egos and lust for power, the four “Establishment” candidates—Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie—are attacking each other with a vengeance, which means it is likely that none of them will do better than third in Iowa and New Hampshire, and will destroy any chance of a more centrist candidate being selected!

Whatever one thinks of Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki, they all saw reality, and decided to thin the field in an attempt to avoid the nomination of Trump or Cruz.

But it has not convinced anyone else to drop out, so it looks like gloom and doom for the GOP, with no chance to win the Presidency in 2016, and a good chance that they will lose the US Senate, and see their margin in the House of Representatives cut down dramatically in 2016!

Long Term Political Projections For 2016 And Beyond!

As 2016 arrives tomorrow, some long term projections for the upcoming year politically.

Next December, we can see how accurate these projections are:

Donald Trump will NOT be the Republican Presidential nominee, and he will lose both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary.  He will be a sore loser there, and will announce a third party movement, but will win NO states in November, but take away votes from the Republican nominee, similar to Ross Perot in 1992.

The Republican nominee for President will be Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who will select Ohio Governor John Kasich as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic Presidential nomination, and will select Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown as her running mate for Vice President to blunt the effect of Ohio Governor John Kasich as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee.  And remember Ohio is the crucial state historically in the Electoral College, as NO Republican has won the White House without Ohio!

Hillary Clinton will become the 45th President of the United States , and Sherrod Brown will become the 48th Vice President of the United States, winning by a substantial margin in the Electoral College, keeping the 242 electoral votes of 18 states (Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii) and the District of Columbia, PLUS the following “swing states”—Ohio (18); Virginia (13)–thus insuring an Electoral College majority of 273 when 270 are required;  but also, in addition, the following:  Colorado (9); Iowa (6); Nevada (6); New Mexico (5); New Hampshire (4)–a total of 25 states and 303 electoral votes.

The only loss for the Democrats will be Florida, which will go to Rubio, a home state favorite, and taking away 29 electoral votes, from the 332 of Barack Obama in 2012 to the 303 of Hillary Clinton.  So Hillary Clinton will win 25 states, instead of the 26 that Obama won in 2012. The final electoral vote will be 303-235.

Hillary Clinton will name Vice President Joe Biden her Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton will gain the opportunity to select FOUR Supreme Court nominees in her four year term, as follows:  Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer–but of course, this cannot be proved to be correct until that next four year term is completed!

The US Senate will go back to the Democrats, gaining the seats up in Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Missouri, going from 44 seats plus two Independents (Maine, Angus King; and Vermont, Bernie Sanders) to 51 plus 2, effectively 53 seats to 47 for the Republicans, from the present 54 seats for the GOP.  Senator Chuck Schumer of New York will be the Senate Majority Leader as a result.  The President Pro Tempore position will go back to Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the longest serving Senator with 42 years and another elected term beginning in 2017.

The US House of Representatives will go from 247 Republicans to 188 Democrats, to a gain of 17 seats, and a new total of 205 Democrats and 230 Republicans.  Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will remain Speaker of the House of Representatives.

So the line of succession will be President Hillary Clinton; Vice President Sherrod Brown; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy, followed by the cabinet officers, beginning with Joe Biden.

We shall see in a year how accurate my prognostications are!  Happy New Year 2016!

Top 10 Political Stories Of 2015

As the year 2015 ends, we look back on the major political stories of this eventful year.

The ten major stories of the year are as follows:

The rise of Donald Trump, and the threat he represents to the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and to the American people in general. He is promoting a Fascist agenda, including nativism, racism, misogyny, and a belief spreading among white working class men that somehow he is the new Messiah, who will solve all of the problems brought about by the failings of the George W. Bush Administration.  These  include the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, which fueled terrorism; and the Great Recession of 2008, which is still reverberating among those less educated and more suspect to demagoguery. And also,those who refuse to accept Barack Obama as a legitimate President find Donald Trump appealing.

The surprise appeal of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is gaining support among the millennial generation, and men and women under 45, who are more educated than average Americans, and find his democratic Socialist ideas appealing.  There is no question that the younger generation is much more liberal than other Americans, and this bodes well for the Democratic Party, if Hillary Clinton continues her move to the left, pushed that way by Sanders’ agenda.

The final acceptance of gay marriage and the advancement of gay rights on all fronts, including the rights of transgender people, but with much discrimination still evident by those who resist change.

The disappearance of John Boehner and the rise of Paul Ryan to the Speakership of the House of Representatives, and the issue of whether Ryan can be any more effective in dealing with the Tea Party Movement, which helped to bring Boehner to the point of resignation.

The growing racial tensions in the nation, due to increased examples of police abuse toward African American men, and even women, along with Latinos, and the growing militarization of law enforcement, a dangerous trend.

The rise of more domestic terrorism, including in Charleston, San Bernandino and elsewhere, some of it inspired by ISIL (ISIS), but also by right wing Christian extremism.

Barack Obama’s changed foreign policy, including opening up to Cuban diplomatic relations; making a deal with Iran’s government on nuclear weapons; attempts to cooperate with other nations to deal with Islamic terrorism, meaning ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; and trying to work with a hostile Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who made life more difficult for Obama by openly consorting with Republicans over the President.

The growing impact of social issues on American politics, including not only gay rights and gay marriage, but also abortion, gun control, immigration reform, and climate change.  All of these controversies will impact politics in a dramatic fashion in 2016 and beyond.

The issue of individual rights to privacy, and the growing role of intelligence gathering and government snooping, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and other government agencies, who feel that they must intrude and investigate all social media and phones and computers, to protect us.  This is seen by many critics as a violation of our civil liberties.

The evident deterioration of the effectiveness and competence of the Secret Service, in its role as protector of the President and his family; the Vice President; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and all Presidential candidates, as the Presidential Election year of 2016 awaits us.  The last thing we need is any incident that affects the health, safety, and lives of any of the candidates or the top leadership of government.  If such were to happen, it would undermine our whole political system and stability in massive ways!

 

Democrats Make Major Blunder In Scheduling Saturday Evening Debates!

Something is seriously wrong with the Democratic National Committee, under Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in their decision to schedule two of the Presidential debates on Saturday evenings, when most people are not watching television, and particularly the debate scheduled for this evening right before Christmas!

It is a denial of common sense to do this, and will make many think the Democratic National Committee is favoring front runner Hillary Clinton over her two rivals, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

And only permitting a small total of six debates altogether is also a blunder!

More exposure in debates is to be preferred, not less, but apparently, despite protests, the schedule is set, and undermines the Democratic ability to get their message out to the voters!