US Senate

Cliven Bundy And Republican Move Toward Anarchism And Domestic Terrorism Support!

Cliven Bundy is a rancher in Nevada who has had his cattle grazing on federal land for years, and has refused to pay about $1 million in taxes to the Bureau of Land Management.

Bundy has gathered a group of gun toting haters of the federal government and its authority to control use of federal lands, and they have declared that they do not accept the authority of the federal government. In a confrontation a week ago, the Bureau of Land Management decided to back away as weapons were brandished, signs were aplenty, and women and children were being gathered as a front line of defense against action by the federal government to enforce federal law and authority.

This is an absolutely horrifying situation, and there is fear that violence will ensue when the time comes that the US government determines it will follow through on assertion of federal authority, and the collection of federal taxes due by this lawbreaker, Cliven Bundy.

If the US government does not enforce the law against Cliven Bundy, it will be seen as weak, indecisive, and having been intimidated by a hoodlum who has taken the law into his own hands, and has brought out right wing lunatics to back him up, and yet is cowardly enough to put women and children in the front line of defense! It will convince other ranchers who have obeyed the law and paid their taxes to wonder why they should continue to do so, if Cliven Bundy can bully the government and get away with it!

What is even more troubling than this is that Republicans, including Nevada Senator Dean Heller, usually a fairly moderate person, is backing Cliven Bundy, as is Texas gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott, the present Texas Attorney General. And reckless right wing Fox News Channel talk show host Sean Hannity has been egging on Cliven Bundy, endorsing his illegal activities and his attack on the US government!

Hannity is inciting violence and riots, is conducting himself as outside the obeying of federal law, and should be condemned for that advocacy, if bloodshed breaks out. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is absolutely correct in calling what is going on as “Domestic Terrorism.”

The Republican Party is starting to move toward endorsement of anarchism, domestic terrorism, law breaking, and if there is a confrontation, which seems inevitable at some point, the Republican Party had better back away from the image that is developing, as if they are seen as endorsing Cliven Bundy over the federal government, that will be the final nail in the coffin of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and even Reagan.

Abraham Lincoln is turning over in his grave right now!

Earth Day, Richard Nixon, And Gaylord Nelson

Today is Earth Day, the annual day we dedicate to appreciation of the environment, a move pushed by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, often forgotten, and declared by President Richard Nixon in 1970 for the first time.

It seems like an eternity ago that we had Democrats and many Republicans agree that the environment was an important issue that had to be addressed, and we must give credit to Richard Nixon for having initiated Earth Day as a Presidential declaration 44 years ago.

Ironically, today is also the 20th anniversary of the death of Richard Nixon, a President who in many ways is one of the worst Chief Executives, but also is one of the best in other ways, including the establishment, with Democratic Congressional prodding, of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

How sad that today almost no Republicans are willing to see the significance of the environment, and the crisis of climate change, as the country and the world move toward environmental disaster!

Republican “Retreads” Emerge, Demonstrating The Sad State Of Their Presidential Race For 2016!

The Republican Party has a long list of potential Presidential candidates for 2016, many of them “new,” including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and even Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, who have never run before for President.

Then, they have the “retreads”, including Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, those three being a sorry lot as alternatives.

All three are way out of the mainstream of American politics, with Rick Perry making a total fool of himself in 2012; Mike Huckabee, once seen as fairly “moderate” in 2008, having converted into a right wing extremist due to his Fox News Channel weekly show; and Rick Santorum, well just a total embarrassment to himself and everyone around him!

The Republican Party is a sorry lot, with lots of candidates on the bench, but none having the slightest chance to become President!

Instead, the GOP looks completely past former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also former Ambassador to China and Singapore), the only solid, foreign policy experienced, sensible, mainstream candidate, who could attract support across the aisle, and make Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any other Democratic nominee squirm, as he did for awhile in the Barack Obama campaign in 2012, with them considering Huntsman a real threat.

Huntsman is sitting on the sidelines, and considering an independent run on a “No Labels” campaign, and reminding people that the Republican Party of the pre Ronald Reagan era is the only hope for a revival of GOP fortunes, as the country has passed by the anti immigrant, anti gay, anti women, anti labor, anti environment mentality of the Tea Party Movement, which may be able to win gerrymandered Congressional seats, but cannot win the US Senate majority or the White House anytime soon!

Widespread Sense Of Anger, Unhappiness, Discontent, Despondency In Electorate Favors Democrats!

Many political observers seem unaware of a widespread sense of anger, unhappiness, discontent, and despondency in the electorate, and fail to understand that this favors the Democrats, not the Republicans, in the midterm elections of 2014.

The Republican Party in the House of Representatives has produced the most horrible record of lack of achievement, lack of concern for the middle class and the poor, and has simply come across as a party of obstruction in the past four years.

While the Democrats have far from a perfect record, they have been the party to bring about a health care plan that is covering millions of people for the first time; have fought for an increase in the minimum wage; have argued for an extension of unemployment compensation for the long term unemployed; have battled to make sure that the food stamp program is not gutted for the poor, the elderly, the children, and the disabled; have promoted the need for infrastructure spending and education, including a solution for students heavily indebted; have defended the need for environmental protection; have backed the need for strong labor protections; have supported fair treatment for gays and lesbians, including marriage rights; and have worked for immigration reform in a fair and balanced way.

For those who are angry, unhappy, discontented, and despondent to sit on their hands and do nothing, and NOT vote in the midterm elections, both state and Congressional, would be the height of stupidity, as no change can come if people stay home.

So the job of Democrats is to come out of their shell, fight for what they believe in, be proud of what they have done and stood for, stand proud, and motivate those who usually do not vote, to do so this time, and give the Republicans a well deserved defeat in the House of Representatives, keep the Democrats in control of the US Senate, and work to defeat Republican “Bully” Governors elected in 2010, who have been a literal nightmare for the masses of people who are not wealthy, and not part of the one percent oligarchy which is taking over American politics in an alarming way, while the middle class and the poor sit on the sidelines, lacking motivation to react in their own self interest!

The Worst Governor In Florida History: Rick Scott!

Florida Governor Rick Scott may have gained less attention than other “Bully” Republican Governors elected in 2010, but he is, in many ways, the absolutely worst governor in America, and easily, the worst Governor Florida has ever had in modern history!

Florida has had some really outstanding Governors, including Leroy Collins (1955-1961); Reubin Askew (1971-1979); Bob Graham (1979-1987); Lawton Chiles (1991-1999); and Charlie Crist (2007-2011). Republican Governors Claude Kirk (1967-1971) and Bob Martinez (1987-1991) both lost re-election and were controversial. Jeb Bush (1999-2007) had his controversies, but did an excellent job dealing with eight hurricanes during his time in office.

Rick Scott came into office with the record of having paid a record fine for his Medicare corruption as the leader of the nation’s largest hospital chain, and should have gone to prison instead, for his misdeeds. He won the Governorship by only 50,000 votes, the smallest margin in Florida history.

Scott spent $73 million of his own money to get himself elected, despite a personality that was and is a turn off to most people who have any intelligence or compassion for others. It was an example of how backward Floridians were, that they would allow a convicted felon to become their Governor.

Scott has done massive damage on voting rights, privacy rights, public schools and higher education, environmental protection, and health care. His party controls three fourths of the seats in the legislature, and has taken Florida backwards at a time when it is about to become the third largest state in population.

Scott has made it harder for Florida citizens to vote; for those who are unemployed to gain unemployment compensation; for renters to avoid eviction; and made it easier for borrowers to be charged high interest rates on short term loans.

Scott has refused to accept Medicaid money for the poor, despite the fact that the federal government will pay all the costs for three years, and 90 percent after that. He fought ObamaCare tooth and nail, and still makes it difficult for citizens to apply for it.

Scott rejected federal money for high speed rail, while creating another state university, Florida Polytechnic University, which undermines the University of South Florida market for students. His administration spends less per public school student than when he took office, and promotes private charter schools over public schools. He has undermined respect for a liberal arts education, and teachers at all levels have been treated with disrespect by his education policies.

Scott has undermined the environment protections put into effect by his predecessors, and sees Florida as equivalent of a corporation that needs to be given freedom to abuse in every way possible, including health insurance rates, higher electric rates, and tax breaks for businesses that have not created the promised number of jobs.

Scott has demonstrated little concern for individual rights, wanting drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients; purging voter rolls, and restricting early voting. Luckily, there has been reaction against these ideas by courts, county elections supervisors, and the public.

The man has no compassion or empathy, and comes across as a cold, calculating individual, and it makes one wonder how Floridians could possibly consider him for a second term, but Scott is willing to spend whatever it takes to fool people, and to keep the vote numbers down by any means he can conjure up.

Scott gains less attention nationally than Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other “Bully” Governors, all of whom are considered Presidential possibilities, but IF Rick Scott is re-elected, do not be surprised if he tries to bring his corruption, mean spirit, callousness, and lack of empathy or compassion to a national campaign for President.

One might say, wait, there is already Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as potential candidates for President from Florida! The answer is: So What? Scott has never let ego or ethics get in his way in the past, and do not be surprised he might mount a national campaign if he defeats former Governor Charlie Crist, who has switched parties, and faces a massive challenge to be elected Governor as a Democrat, in a state with such a large Republican dominance in the state legislature!

The problem is that, even if Crist were to win, he is likely to face a hardline legislature, where only his veto might sometimes be effective, as Florida politics now represents one of the most backward agendas of any state, despite the fact that the state has nearly 20 million citizens, including many elderly, poor, sick, and disabled!

This is NOT a state where anyone who has a choice to move would decide to remain. YES, the weather is great, but the future for the elderly, the poor, the sick and the disabled, and for children in general, is gloomy!

Maryland, anyone?

The “Rising American Electorate”: The Bright Future For The Democratic Party!

The “Rising American Electorate”, the battleground groups for the future of American politics, insure a bright future for the Democratic Party, especially due to the Republican Party’s refusal to come to grips with these significant groups, who are being ignored, mistreated, insulted, and vilified by suicidal Republicans of the far Right!

Unmarried women, people of color, and young voters are clearly moving toward the Democratic Party, as the party to protect civil rights, to protect a woman’s right to choose on her reproductive life, and dealing with the reality of high economic stress among the young, and the need to create jobs, build infrastructure, and promote education, as the way to create a bright American future for the younger generation of the future.

There are more than ten million unmarried women; 6.5 million African Americans; 3.8 million Latinos; and 10 million young voters, and they all made a difference in the victory of Barack Obama in 2012. As long as a substantial number of these groups turn out in the midterm elections, the danger to the Democrats on a potential loss of the Senate can be averted.

Barack Obama is making his pitch to these groups, and they need to see that a Republican takeover of the Senate would undermine their futures. The “pocketbook” futures of these groups demand that they not be allowed to overlook the importance of voting in the midterm elections. If they do, they are only hurting themselves, as well as the party that is standing up for them.

Two Different Directions: Wisconsin State Republican Party And Nevada State Republican Party

The internal battle over the future of the Republican Party is in full swing, as we come up to the 160th anniversary of the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854, which actually took place on March 20. with a formal organization in Jackson, Michigan, on July 6.

For a long time, the Ripon Society has existed as an organization for “liberal,” mainstream Republicans, but of course, there is no such thing anymore known as “liberal” Republicanism. Even those who might consider themselves “liberal,” avoid use of that term like a plague!

The Wisconsin GOP, which once included “Mr. Progressive” Robert La Follette, Sr., and his brilliant sons Robert La Follette, Jr. and Philip La Follette, now, however, has become an extremist group on the far right, under Governor Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson, and the proposal is to add to their state party documents the concept of the right of the state to promote “secession’ if felt necessary, a sign of the old, ugly language that led to the Civil War and the loss of two thirds of a million men in combat, the greatest single tragedy in the nation’s history!

At the same time, the Nevada State Republican Party has made the decision to remove from its platform for 2014 two issues that the Christian Right has been promoting since their rise in the party apparatus nationwide since the late 1970s—abortion and gay rights and marriage. No longer will the party promote government intervention in the lives of women and their personal decisions about their bodies and reproductive rights. And no longer will they get in the way of a person’s happiness, as to his or her basic human rights, including marriage, and the right to one’s sexual orientation without any discrimination by government!

In the long run, what Nevada Republicans are doing will, if pursued elsewhere, lead to a long term revival of the GOP, while if Wisconsin is followed, it is the death knell and demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

Republicans, The Lincoln Lie, And Rand Paul’s Ambitions For President In 2016

The Republican Party loves to claim a connection to Abraham Lincoln, even though they have totally repudiated everything he stands for.

They honor his memory, particularly now on the 149th Anniversary of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. But they favor states rights, nullification, and support back tracking on civil rights, all of which the Confederate and Border South advocated when they were Democrats, and now when they are Republicans, and control most seats in Congress and most state legislatures in those states.

But when seeking the Presidency, these Southern and Border state Republicans have no problem in trying to appeal to groups they have been working against.

A great example is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, known for his doubts about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and about overseas military bases and involvement in world affairs.

Suddenly, while in New Hampshire appealing for support for President, he expresses concern for groups that have been totally ignored by his party, including African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, women, and poor people, although there is no evidence of a real transformation.

And now he is no longer willing to condemn Dick Cheney and the Iraq War, and backs away from his isolationist views of the past, and that must make his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, wince!

It is clear that Rand Paul is a total charlatan, a phony, who cannot be believed or trusted, either the “old” libertarian Rand Paul, or the newer, transformed model, to be our President!

Liz Cheney Vs. Rand Paul, And The Rachel Maddow “Connection” On Iraq War

Fox News commentator Liz Cheney, formerly a Senate candidate from Wyoming, who withdrew from the race due to poor polling numbers, is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

She is as much a nightmare as her infamous father, who is the hawk of all hawks, the ultimate neoconservative, who manipulated us by lies to enter the war against Iraq, a losing war, that emboldened the more dangerous neighbor, Iran, over the past eleven years.

Liz Cheney defends her father while attacking Tea Party Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has denounced the Iraq War as an unwise and mistaken action.

But Liz Cheney has claimed that Rand Paul is mouthing the main talking points of MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, who has produced a documentary, already shown on that channel, denouncing the war, and showing how it was based on lies and deception at the cost of 4,400 American lies and over 30,000 wounded, many seriously, while Cheney enriched himself immensely through his Haliburton connections.

The idea that Rand Paul has, somehow, been working alongside Rachel Maddow is laughable, as she has been a major critic of his libertarianism and other views, and is no “friend” of Rand, or Ron Paul, his dad and the former Texas Congressman.

This is a sign of the splits developing in the GOP, not only the Cheneys and other neoconservatives (such as former UN Ambassador John Bolton) against Rand Paul, a likely frontrunner for the Presidential nomination in 2016; but also the hard line right wingers against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his approach to the immigration issue, particularly undocumented immigrants.

Anyone who would deny the Rachel Maddow expose against Cheney and others who prosecuted the Iraq War on false pretenses is a fool, and the words to describe Liz Cheney are not printable here on this blog!

The Bushes Vs. The Tea Party Movement, Right Wing Evangelicals, And Many Congressional Republicans: The Battle For The Soul Of The GOP Is On!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has declared war on the Tea Party Movement, the right wing evangelicals, and many members of the Republican Congressional majority in the House, and some in the US Senate, by his statements at the George H W Bush Presidential Library defending undocumented immigrants who risk their lives to make a better future for their families, by coming illegally to the United States!

Stating that what these immigrants are doing is “an act of love” and should not be seen as a felony, what Jeb Bush has done is to decide to confront the right wingers in his party, as he considers a run for President in 2016. He admits that he might be shot down, but is testing the waters to make the Republican Party a more open, embracing party, as he sees the only future for the party is to broaden its support, including the backing of immigration reform!

Whether one likes Jeb Bush or not, and is thrilled or not at the thought of a third Bush Presidency, any rational, reasonable person can applaud what he is saying. This author has been bitterly attacked in past years on this blog for supporting reasonable immigration reform, including the passage of the DREAM Act, giving the children of immigrants an opportunity to advance in their country of adoption, through college attendance and or military service, and staying out of trouble.

The reality is that there is no way to deport an estimated 12-13 million people; that these people do important jobs others will not take; and that they are not stealing jobs from Americans, or causing widespread crime.

Ironically, the Obama Administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than George W. Bush, and has taken people who have not committed serious crimes, and forced them out, leaving their children without their parents in this nation, in many cases. This is a violation of basic human rights, to break up families, and unless someone has committed serious crimes, there is a dire need to change this unjust, immoral policy pronto!