US House Of Representatives

Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, And Jim Clyburn Need To Leave House Democratic Leadership: Fresh Blood Needed For 2018 Midterm Elections

As we enter the beginning of the 2018 midterm election battle, after the four special elections resulted in the Republicans keeping their seats, although by greatly reduced margins, the question arises whether it is time for a complete change in Democratic Congressional leadership in the House of Representatives.

The Democrats in the House chose to keep their long time leadership in January, at the beginning of the 115th Congress, so it would be unprecedented to change the leadership before the 116th Congress meets in January 2019.

But the question arises, are Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim Clyburn, who have been the top three leaders for more than a decade, and are in their late 70s, the way to the future of the Democratic Party?

The age issue arises too, as by 2020, all three Democratic leaders will have reached the age of 80!

Nancy Pelosi was a great Speaker of the House from 2007-2010, but it has been eight years since then by next year, and it is unprecedented in history for a Speaker who has lost his power and position to stay on as leader, and for now a total of eight years since losing the majority.

The only exception is Sam Rayburn who twice lost the Speakership in 1947-48 and 1953-54, but then came back to power after two years out of power each time.

Fresh blood is needed to help promote the change that is desperately needed, or else the Democrats will remain in the minority for a long time.

Jon Ossoff Loses Georgia Race, But All Four Special Elections Show GOP Edge Dramatically Cut From Elections In November 2016

All of the four Congressional special elections, due to sitting Republican Congressmen taking positions in the Trump Administration, were won by Republicans, but in all four districts, the margin of victory was much closer than the races for those seats in November 2016.

It is disappointing that Jon Ossoff lost the race in the Georgia Congressional District, but Karen Handel’s margin of victory is one fifth what it was for Tom Price last year.

The same for Ryan Zinke’s seat in Montana; Mike Pompeo’s seat in Kansas; and also Nick Mulvaney’s seat in South Carolina.

But one must realize all four districts are strong Red districts, so the massive narrowing of the margin of victory is a major story.

The reality is that 23 Congressional districts with Republican wins in 2016 were also Congressional districts won by Hillary Clinton, and none of these four special elections were among those 23 districts.

So it comes down to the reality that IF Democrats can win those Clinton districts, with all of the discontent and turmoil over Donald Trump and the Republican agenda, they would be on the way to a likely gain of the House of Representatives majority in 2018, whereby 24 seats need to be gained.

But to do so, the Democrats must be much more aggressive in their campaigning, and must vigorously work to recruit the best possible candidates, so that they can revive their fortunes before the Presidential Election of 2020.

This is NOT the time to be downcast over the Ossoff defeat, but to applaud how he cut down the Republican party edge in the district by about 19 points, and mobilized thousands of people to become engaged in politics, who had never done so before.

Confidence and optimism are the key words to be emphasized and pursued!

Gun Violence Against Congressman Steve Scalise And Others Deplorable, And Incited By Bad Blood On Both Sides, And By Donald Trump!

The shocking violence in Alexandria, Virginia, by a crazed gunman, who shot five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana is a sign of escalating violence in this nation, incited by bad blood on both sides of the political spectrum, but also by Donald Trump, who in the past two years has called for violence against his opponent Hillary Clinton, and encouraged violence by his supporters at his campaign rallies against any critics, and that he would pay their legal costs, or so he said.

The political invective is higher now than it has been since the Civil War Era, and Trump cannot be said to be innocent in any fashion, and he likes to act like a bully, and intimidate his critics and opponents. But also, the two parties, Democrats and Republicans, have reached a stage where they cannot “cross the aisle”, as they often did in past decades, to accomplish major goals in legislation.

And conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel has also incited people with their poisonous atmosphere–including Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, and so many others, all of whom spew hatred.

Some conservatives try to claim that Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Hayes, Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, and others considered to be progressives, are doing the same thing on their programs, but that is pure BS!

The political atmosphere has been deteriorating for the past 25 years since Bill Clinton came to the Presidency, and many of the talk show hosts on the Right have become multimillionaires in the process, and Republican leadership has gone along with this to gain their own agenda.

The fact that the shooter of Steve Scalise and others was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016, will, assuredly make the right wing talk show hosts further inflame the situation, so those on the left cannot remain silent, as some are advocating.

We deplore the shooting, and do not advocate violence, but that does not mean we shall remain silent in the midst of government abuses and illegalities.

The American people expect their government to be accountable to its citizenry!

Rob Quist And Jon Ossoff Could Be Signs Of Democratic Advancement Against Donald Trump

The odds are growing that Democrat Rob Quist will win over Republican Greg Gianforte for the At Large House of Representatives seat in Montana this week, and that Democrat Jon Ossoff will win over Republican Karen Handel for the Georgia 6th Congressional seat race next month, flipping two House seats to the Democratic Party.

This is, to a great extent, due to the growing lack of popularity of President Donald Trump, and if the flip of two seats occurs, it could be a sign of a coming Democratic wave for the House elections in the fall of 2018, and would make Nancy Pelosi the House Speaker in 2019-2020, after having been Speaker from 2007-2010.

The odds of winning the Senate, however, are very long, and highly unlikely. as 25 Democrats must defend their seats, with only 8 Republicans facing reelection.

But a House of Representatives with a Democratic majority could move toward impeachment of the President, even though conviction in the Senate by two thirds is highly speculative, as right now it would require 19 Republicans along with the 48 Democrats, to be accomplished.

But if Donald Trump is still in office in 2019, such an impeachment trial might convince Trump to resign the Presidency, as Richard Nixon did in 1974.

Mike Pence: A Morally And Ethically Challenged Vice President, Who Signed A Pact With The Devil, And Now Is Suspect As Possible Successor!

Vice President Mike Pence is facing a very difficult situation, as Donald Trump implodes, and as his prospects of staying in office for the next three years and eight months becomes more difficult to accomplish. Mike Pence, by agreeing to run for Vice President, became tied to the fate of Donald Trump, and one could argue that he signed a pact with the devil. He could, ultimately, benefit, by becoming the 46th President of the United States, but let’s not jump to that conclusion quite yet.

In the midst of the Trump crisis of leadership, Mike Pence himself is coming under a moral and ethical cloud, as he has been shown to have lied about when he learned about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian government leaders, including Vladimir Putin and the Russian Ambassador to the United States.

And actually, there now seems to be evidence that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also seemed to know of Trump collusion with the Russian government as early as June 2016, and told his House colleagues to stay quiet and remember they are part of a team to work for the party over any such evidence.

So we might be faced with a constitutional crisis worse than imagined as the top three leaders of the government under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947–the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives–might all be compromised as having knowledge of or collusion with a foreign government that worked to undermine the American electoral process, and to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Election of 2016.

If that unbelievable scenario turns out to be totally the case, then we would have the unprecedented situation of Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah, who has been in the US Senate for more than 40 years, and is the longest serving Republican Senator in all of American history, and age 83, becoming President of the United States!

Can this really be happening? Stay tuned!

Could It Be A Battle Between Two Upper Septuagenarians For The Democratic Presidential Nomination In 2020?

This blogger has written recently on the potential field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination, with him emphasizing the desirability of a “newer” generation of leadership in their 40s and 50s.

But having said that, the possibility does exist that the major battle for the nomination could be between two upper septuagenarians with long political careers, and many people who greatly admire them.

I am referring to former Vice President Joe Biden, who also served 36 years in the US Senate from Delaware; and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has served 27 years in Congress, in both the House of Representatives and Senate as the first successful long term Independent Socialist, who only became a Democrat when he announced for President, and now is officially an Independent again, although he caucuses with the Democrats.

Biden will be 78 two weeks after the 2020 election, and Sanders will be 79 shortly before that election.

Both are dedicated public servants, who have millions of admirers who remain ready to support their favorite candidate, if they decide to run for President.

Biden is comparatively more centrist, while Sanders is the extreme left of the Democratic Party.

Were both to run, while they would have many other candidates competing, it could be a battle royal for the ages, with their advanced age being an issue, although Donald Trump, were he to run in 2020, would be 74 and a half at the time of the election.

We have never had two people in their 70s as the alternatives, although Hillary Clinton was 69 in 2016.

Trying to predict who would triumph is quite a challenge, but this author thinks that Biden would have an easier time, with his Establishment credentials, and with Sanders still having to deal with the “Socialist” label, and being Jewish, even though he is not at all devout.

In the long run, however, it would still be preferable to have a “newer generation” of leadership leading the Democratic Party and the nation into the 2020s.

Eight Republican Senators Possible Votes Against House Passed “Health Care” Bill, So Highly Unlikely That “TrumpCare” Will Become Law!

Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Senator Dean Heller of Nevada

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

Senator John McCain of Arizona

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

These are the 8 Republican Senators who are seen as likely to vote against the House passed excuse for a “Health Care” bill, making it highly unlikely that “TrumpCare” will become law!

Collins and Murkowski do not want Planned Parenthood defunded, and want to protect Medicaid patients in their states, both states with many poor people.

Heller faces a very tough race for reelection in Nevada, as does Flake in Arizona, and both have a very large senior citizen constituency in their Western states.

McCain, despite his often inconsistent statements and actions, is basically a moderate, certainly as compared to the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate and in Congress.

Capito comes from one of the poorest states of all, West Virginia, and many poor, disabled (such as coal miners), and senior citizens would be harmed by the GOP passed House bill.

Corker is one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and seems very cautious as to accepting such a radical bill as the House passed.

Portman also comes across as one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and Ohio is the state of Governor John Kasich, who extended Medicaid, and it is hard to imagine that Portman would wish to harm his state’s disabled, senior citizens and poor, in a state which went for Trump, not realizing that the President would not give a damn about those on Medicaid, and those who were willing to support him with no good reason to do so, except being ignorant of reality about what right wing Republicans would do to destroy the good parts of ObamaCare.

It is hard to imagine that ANY Democratic Senator, not even Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, or Jon Tester of Montanan would support any major change in the Affordable Care Act!

So do NOT expect any kind of legislation anywhere near what the House Freedom Caucus, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price want, and expect that the American people will react in 2018 by a Democratic takeover of the House, including a move toward impeachment of the most despicable President in American history, bar none, Donald Trump!

Republican Philosophy: Every Fetus Must Be Born, But No Right To Care For Preexisting Conditions, And No Basic Right To Health Care Itself!

The Republican Party is a total disgrace in 2017.

It has allowed itself to become the party of death, not the party of life.

While adopting the extreme right wing position of being totally anti abortion, and subjecting women to the whims of religious extremists, that every fetus must be born, now the GOP has fully adopted the concept that once a fetus is born, that there is no right to care for preexisting conditions, which nearly half of Americans have in their lifetime, and no basic right to health care itself.

The party that freed the slaves, promoted racial equality, and advocated protection of the environment, now has become the party of Christian extremists and hard line Southern Confederate views, repudiating the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and many decent, principled office holders who were proud of the Republican traditions of the past 150 plus years.

Now, if you are not wealthy, to hell with your health, and if you die, such is life, and it most showed up when former one term Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, said he was not interested in having to pay more taxes to support the health care of an infant who had a need for heart surgery to survive.

What has happened to the concept of human decency, compassion, empathy, and concern for others?

What has happened to the idea that we all pay in through our taxes for the betterment of society, and if we do not end up getting back as much as we pay in, it means we have been fortunate enough not to need help from the government on the same scale as others?

What happened to the concept of religious values, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or whatever, that we are our brother’s keeper?

The Republican Party will be condemned in history for the passage in the House of Representatives yesterday of this reprehensible “tax care for the wealthy” bill, and it will NOT make it through the US Senate.

It was disgusting to see the House Republicans, led by despicable Speaker Paul Ryan, rushing to the Trump White House to celebrate the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, which, were it to become law, would insure tens of thousands of Americans, at the least, will die because they are not wealthy!

The wealthy have more than enough advantages, and do NOT need another tax cut, as it was those under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush which have obliterated much of the middle class, and accelerated the fall of millions into poverty since 1981.

The odds are heavy now that the Democrats will win at least the minimum number of seats, 24, to regain the House of Representatives majority, and even if the US Senate is not regained, it will change the playing field in 2019-2020, including the likelihood of the impeachment of demagogue Donald Trump!

For any decent human being to be a Republican in 2017, shame on you, and one can believe in karma, that you will be repaid appropriately in the next stage of your existence after your death on earth!

The Democratic Presidential Rumor Mill Grows From 18 To 25! But Probably 10 “Serious” Possibilities!

Nine days ago, this blogger published an article, discussing 18 potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

My article was a bit ahead of the media in bringing up the issue, but now the rumor mill has come up with 7 more potential Democratic candidates, making for a total, in theory, of 25!

This is the silly season, right after the First Hundred Days of Donald Trump, and having a list this lengthy does seem a bit ridiculous.

However, for the record, the other 7 names being bandied about are:

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley from 2007 to 2015 and Baltimore Mayor before that from 1999-2007, age 57 in 2020, who this blogger should NOT have left off the original list. O’Malley was once thought of as the “new generation” of leadership, but could not compete against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the rumors that Joe Biden would run. Certainly, he belonged on the original list of 18, making it 19, and has a likely better chance in theory than some on that list.

Entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban, age 62 in 2020, who is very personable and appealing, and could be the “outsider”, equivalent of the Democrats’ Donald Trump, but personally, this blogger is not keen about outside businessmen with no government experience, and Donald Trump just adds to that feeling, that it is not a great idea.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, age 63 in 2020, who leaves office at the end of this year, but was formerly Democratic National Chairman from 2001-2005; Bill Clinton co chair in the 1996 Presidential campaign; and Hillary Clinton chair in the 2008 Presidential campaign, has the disadvantage of being connected to the Clintons, and has an image of being a bit sleazy and crooked throughout his political career, so would not seem a likely choice to get very far in the 2020 Presidential race. If anything, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner seem more likely candidates from Virginia.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, age 60 in 2020, whose sister Mary was a long time US Senator from Louisiana fromJimmy 1997 to 2015, and whose father, Moon Landrieu, was Mayor of the city from 1970-1978, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, has become recently controversial with his decision to remove Confederate monuments in the city, including those of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Being a moderate Southern Democrat might make some think of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but it would seem highly unlikely that he would have much of a shot at the nomination for President.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who would be 49 in 2020, and who is Jewish and also of Mexican heritage as well, and mayor of the second largest city in America in the largest state in America, might possibly be a more serious nominee on paper. Garcetti has long experience in city government, being a member of the LA City Council, and then its President, for nearly a total of 12 years on the Council, and Mayor since 2013. Being a person of urban and multiple ethnic and religious Los Angeles, the most diverse city possible in America, might just be a positive in the long run, and this is a person to watch, in the view of this blogger.

We also have two Massachusetts members of the House of Representatives, Seth Moulton, who would be 42 in 2020; and President John F. Kennedy’s grand nephew, Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson, and former Congressman Joe Kennedy II’s son, Joe Kennedy III, who would be only 40. Moulton has served since 2015 in the House, and Kennedy since 2013, and both have made names for themselves with their liberal views, and both are seen as ambitious rivals, but a bit young to be thinking of running, or be considered at all for the Presidency. Also, only James A. Garfield in 1880 went directly from the House to the Presidency, and then he was tragically killed within months. To believe a House member would be elected is highly unlikely.

In the view of this blogger, one could add O’Malley and Garcetti to the shorter list with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren as the most legitimate candidates.

So I am saying a total of 10 serious candidates is likely, which is certainly long enough—6 US Senators, 3 Governors (assuming Newsom is elected California Governor), and 1 Mayor, LA Mayor Garcetti. The list also includes 2 women, 1 African American, and 1 Jewish and Mexican combination (Garcetti). This is a pretty representative list.

Any commentary by my readers on this and the April 25 article is welcome!

The 38th Earth Day: And Donald Trump Has Declared War On The Environment And Science!

Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970.

Richard Nixon turned out to be one of the great environmental Presidents, despite his Watergate Scandal.

So was Jimmy Carter, with the best one term record on the environment. Also outstanding on the environment was Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Barack Obama reached the few on the top of the list with his magnificent advancements, which sadly, is being destroyed to a great extent by Donald Trump.

Ronald Reagan was a horrible person on the environment, but Trump is rapidly moving him from the bottom of the modern Presidents on the environment.

Trump has hired Scott Pruitt head of the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency created by Nixon and the Democratic Congress, and Pruitt is like putting a fox in a chicken coop, and is out to destroy and defund the EPA entirely in the next couple of years.

The American people must demand that this war on the environment be stopped, as for a government to be unconcerned about clean air, clean water, and safe environmental conditions at work is a crime against humanity, really equivalent of a war crime, as it indicates no concern about the health and well being of the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt, our greatest environmental President, would be furious if he knew what his Republican Party has done, declare war on nature for the selfish benefit of corrupt corporations only interested in making profits.

Donald Trump is criminal for declaring war on the environment and science, and must be held accountable for the damage he has wrought already.

It should be one of the impeachment charges brought against him in a future confrontation between the President and the Congress, hopefully brought about in 2018 by a Democratic controlled House of Representatives.

Even if that fails to occur, progressives must hold Trump accountable in history for his crimes against the environment!