US Senate

The Supreme Court Reputation Has Been Seriously Tarnished, No Longer Seen As Representing Moderation!

The John Roberts Supreme Court reputation has been seriously tarnished, no longer seen as representing moderation!

By deciding to go along with an extremist Texas abortion law, in a one paragraph middle of the night statement, which includes no exceptions for rape or incest, and allowing private citizens to sue anyone engaged in promoting abortion, the Court has done one of the worst ever actions, which will be compared to such other issues as Dred Scott V Sandford (1857) and Plessy V Ferguson (1896), and a small group of other reprehensible decisions!

Chief Justice Roberts himself recognized how terrible this 5-4 decision was, so despite earlier personal expressions of being anti abortion, he joined the three liberals on the Court in opposition.

Roberts knows his own historical reputation has been permanently damaged, as the Court has become dangerously radical right wing extremist, with the three reprehensible appointments by Donald Trump showing their true colors!

The fact that the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett switched the Court balance from what it was under the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg right before the Presidential Election of 2020 is reprehensible!

But also, the fact that Brett Kavanaugh was the second Court Justice to face accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct, along with Clarence Thomas three decades ago, and now they decided the private lives of women, is totally infuriating!

And the fact that Neil Gorsuch gained an appointment after a full year of no replacement of Antonin Scalia, and that Merrick Garland was denied even a hearing as his replacement, makes all three of Donald Trump’s Court appointments questionable and wanting!

It is further proof that the Supreme Court has lost whatever aura it had, as a fair, reasonable body!

To reverse a decision of nearly 50 years, when the tradition of the Court is to uphold legal precedent normally, and that it has such a dramatic effect on more than half the population, is beyond the pale!

If Hillary Clinton had won the Presidential Election of 2016, which this author and blogger and tens of millions of Americans think is the truth, the Supreme Court today would not be in the crisis atmosphere it is in!

It requires an attempt to add members to the Court, because otherwise, the Court is on a tear to the promotion of Fascism clear and simple, and that cannot be allowed to move forward toward ultimate destruction of the Constitution and rule of law!

The idea that two Presidents, George W. Bush and Donald Trump,who lost the popular vote, could add two and three members to the Court respectively, which otherwise would have been appointees of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, is simply outrageous and unacceptable for the long haul!

It will permanently destroy the reputation of a very evil man, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who brought about this travesty!

When one thinks back to the mid and late 1970s, we actually had a 7-2 Republican Court by party affiliation, but it included moderate Republicans, which included statesmen, including William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and Chief Justice Warren Burger!

So action must be taken to expand the Court, as we are in a constitutional crisis that will only get worse if no action is taken!

Remembering Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Lyndon B. Johnson, WEB DuBois,19th Amendment Anniversaries In Time Of Turmoil

Late August is a time to remember the contributions of three political leaders who were true statesmen, one civil rights leader and educator, as well as the celebration of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts died on August 25, 2009; Senator John McCain of Arizona died on August 25, 2018; President Lyndon B. Johnson was born on August 27, 1908; WEB DuBois died on August 27, 1963; and the 19th Amendment (Women Suffrage) was ratified and declared in effect on August 26, 1920.

These four individuals had a dramatic effect on American history, and the woman suffrage amendment has transformed American history as well.

Ted Kennedy is one of the greatest US Senators of all time, with his 47 plus years of service on all kinds of crucial issues.

John McCain is one of the heroic Senators, who also sacrificed years of torture and imprisonment in Vietnam, and was the true conscience of the Republican Party.

Lyndon B. Johnson promoted the greatest series of domestic reforms (“The Great Society”) since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and those reforms still impact America today.

WEB Dubois was the most significant early leader of the Civil Rights Movement before Martin Luther King Jr. and impacted the concept of Black History, and holding America to a higher standard of racial advancement.

The 19th Amendment overcame the long discrimination against women participating in public life, and has had an immeasurable effect on the American promotion of democracy.

January 6 House Committee Demanding Phone Records Of Trump Staff, Family, Members Of Congress!

The January 6 House Committee is demanding phone records of all government agencies, Donald Trump White House staff, Trump family members, Vice President Mike Pence, and members of Congress who may have had phone contact with Donald Trump or meetings with him or with seditionists and insurrectionists before and on January 6, 2021.

That means many Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Congressmen Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jim Banks of Indiana, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, and others; and Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, and others now face full accountability and responsibility for their transgressions, if they conspired to cause the Insurrection.

They need to face prosecution if there is adequate evidence of their wrongdoing, which seems highly likely at this point, but we shall see!

The Public Utterances Of Larry Elder, Potential California Governor, After Recall Election On September 14!

Larry Elder, the right wing talk show host, and an African American, seems likely to be the major threat to the tenure of California Governor Gavin Newsom in the upcoming Gubernatorial Recall election on Tuesday, September 14.

What is his record of beliefs and statements?

He is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, regularly praising him on Twitter.

Elder has argued Trump is not responsible for the January 6, 2021 Insurrection.

In a 2000 book, he called for:

abolishing the Internal Revenue Service
creating a national sales tax
reduce government by 80 percent
end welfare and entitlements
abolish the minimum wage
eliminate corporate taxes

Also, he has condemned Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”; thinks the ideal minimum wage is ZERO; has condemned labor unions, and said many teachers are incompetent and should be fired; and prefers charter and private schools to public schools.

Elder also is anti abortion; anti gay; thinks California is “soft on crime”; and is a denier of climate change and the dangers of second hand tobacco smoking.

He is also against mandates on COVID 19 and masks; and sees no problem with mass rallies held by Donald Trump. Additionally, he has made highly controversial remarks on women, very misogynistic in nature.

So Elder would be a nightmare for California, and could gain the power to select the replacement for Dianne Feinstein, who might leave soon due to dementia, and that would change the political balance in the US Senate!

Republican Hypocrisy As Usual, Now On Afghanistan!

Republicans in Congress are utilizing hypocrisy, as usual, now on Afghanistan.

Donald Trump signed an agreement in late 2020, insuring the end of US involvement by May 1, 2021.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Taliban leadership, and signed the agreement.

Donald Trump spoke as late as late June to a crowd, bragging about the fact that he had arranged for the end of US involvement in Afghanistan.

But now, both Trump and Pompeo, and innumerable others in the Republican Party, are accusing Joe Biden of betrayal.

In late June, 56 percent of Republicans in public opinion polls endorsed getting out of Afghanistan, along with about 70 percent of Democrats and Independents.

Trump signed the agreement to withdraw, and Biden followed up on it, with a delay until August-September 2021.

Biden had been against staying in Afghanistan, while Vice President under Barack Obama, so it is a long standing viewpoint.

This does not mean that Joe Biden is not to be criticized for lack of timely planning to assure the safety and ability of Afghans and their family members who worked with the US military forces, and women who had seen great strides, but wanted to leave, also to be able to flee.

But when Florida Senator Rick Scott, a true scumbag, says the 25th Amendment should be used to remove Biden, one is tempted to say where were you when Donald Trump was demonstrating corruption and incompetence? Why did you NOT vote to convict Donald Trump on impeachment charges as a threat to American democracy?

The issue of Afghanistan is being used simply as a political tool by the conservative right wing, when they could not care less about Afghans who helped us, and Afghan women.

In fact, the Republican Party has no concern for women’s rights, in Afghanistan, or in America!

The Age Issue In American Politics Endangering Change—Dianne Feinstein, Stephen Breyer!

A growing crisis in American government is the rapidly aging political class, with a larger number of members of Congress being past 80 years of age, and Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer reaching the age of 83 today, August 15.

This is particularly notable with California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is past 88 years of age, and is clearly demonstrating signs of dementia in many public situations.

Age discrimination is illegal, but once someone reaches past the age of 80, the danger of dementia and other medical issues multiplies, and the issue of Feinstein and of Breyer is alarming, even though so far Breyer shows no signs of decline.

But no government position with such responsibilities should be in the hands of an egotist who never knows when it is time to “pass the baton”, and clearly, Feinstein needs to resign, and Breyer needs to move in that direction before the midterm elections of 2022.

If Feinstein died in office, with the California gubernatorial recall election coming up in September, there is the danger that an extremist Republican hanger-on could end up becoming Governor, and then being able to pick a Republican to replace Feinstein, and making the US Senate switch to the Republican party.

And if Breyer died after an unfortunate majority of the Senate possibly returning to the Republican Party, no replacement would be likely, similar to the Merrick Garland situation and Barack Obama in 2016!

This is intolerable, and there needs to be an understanding that past age 80 or early 80s, it is time for public office holders to leave and allow someone else to replace them, as no one is indispensable, despite their egos!

Major Accomplishment On Infrastructure Legislation: A Landmark Moment!

Yesterday, August 11, saw the Bipartisan Physical Infrastructure legislation pass the Senate with 19 Republicans joining the 50 Democrats, with the votes by the Republicans ignoring Donald Trump’s anger that what he could not accomplish is being done now under Joe Biden!

And the more expansive proposed $3.5 trillion legislation for expansion of the social safety net, which has not been seen since the 1960s, was voted 50-49 in a “reconciliation” vote, straight party line Democratic votes only.

If both of these pieces of legislation go all the way to adoption after the Congress returns later in August and into mid September, it will be a landmark moment in American history!

Joe Biden is on the way to being the most progressive President since Lyndon B. Johnson, although Barack Obama made valiant efforts that fell short, due to Republican opposition.

With Biden having great congressional experience that Obama did not have, there is optimism that he will be able to overcome opposition that Obama was stymied by for his last six years, and “reconciliation” is, fortunately, the method that might bring about the more expansive infrastructure legislation.

A Third Of Senate Republicans Are Ignoring Donald Trump Criticism On Physical Infrastructure Legislation!

It is fascinating to witness that, at this point, a third of the 50 Senate Republicans are ignoring Donald Trump’s criticism of the Physical Infrastructure legislation in process in the upper chamber, as they realize the urgent need for such projects!

The final total of Republicans could be more than the present 17 Senators, and this, hopefully, is a sign of the waning influence of the former President over the party and its future. With Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in support, and being attacked by Donald Trump, it is a sign that the Senate is not ready to follow the House Republicans and their treasonous leadership, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy into the abyss!

For the Republican Party to survive in shape for the future, which is highly doubtful, it MUST separate itself from the extremists that fueled the January 6 US Capitol Insurrection!

As it is, it was 8 Republican Senators who refused to accept the Electoral College vote count after the Insurrection, as compared to 139 House Republicans, nearly two thirds of all in the lower chamber.

That in itself is shocking, two thirds of the House Republicans, but only 16 percent of the Republicans in the Senate, so it is the Senate which has the opportunity to promote survival of the party future.

There needs to be a massive move to remove the cancer of House Republicans, in order to save the party for the long term!

Carl Levin Of Michigan, A Giant In The Senate, Dies At 87!

Former Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a true giant of the Senate, has passed away at age 87.

Levin had a distinguished 36 year career in the Senate from 1978 to 2014.

He was rated one of the top ten US Senators in a Time Magazine article in 2006.

He was the fourth longest serving incumbent at his retirement in 2015, and was the longest serving Senator in Michigan history.

He served alongside his Congressman brother Sander Levin, both of them outstanding Senators of the Jewish faith, and both had a great impact on Michigan and the nation.

Carl Levin was Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, and served alongside Republicans and worked well across the aisle with them, promoting civil dialogue.

He supported the revival of the auto industry, and supported efforts to address pollution and other environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes.

He promoted a crackdown on offshore tax havens, and was an advocate for stem cell research and gun control laws.

He gained respect for his attention to detail and deep knowledge of policy.

Levin came across as a “regular guy”, who was unassuming and unpretentious.

His kind will not be easily found in the future, as he was, in many ways, one of a kind.

Rest in Peace, Carl Levin, you will be well remembered in the annals of history!

17 Republicans Join 50 Democrats In First Senate Vote On Physical Infrastructure Legislation

In a surprising development, 17 Republican Senators joined the 50 Democratic Senators to vote for a version of the Physical Infrastructure legislation, a promising sign of bipartisanship.

The 17 Republicans who voted in favor include:

Roy Blunt Missouri
Richard Burr North Carolina
Shelley Moore Capito West Virginia
Bill Cassidy Louisiana
Susan Collins Maine
Kevin Cramer North Dakota
Mike Crapo Idaho
Lindsey Graham South Carolina
Chuck Grassley Iowa
John Hoeven North Dakota
Mitch McConnell Kentucky
Lisa Murkowski Alaska
Rob Portman Ohio
James Risch Idaho
Mitt Romney Utah
Thom Tillis North Carolina
Todd Young Indiana

This list includes moderates Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney, but also leading figures in the party, including Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, and Rob Portman. It also includes both Republican Senators from North Carolina, North Dakota, and Idaho, an unlikely scenario!

And yet, Donald Trump has condemned this move in the Senate, and particularly attacked Mitt Romney, terming him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and it is all jealousy that he was unable to accomplish any infrastructure legislation during his Presidency, despite saying it was an important goal!

It is good to see that Republicans are ignoring Donald Trump on this matter, and hopefully, the party will wrest its freedom from the danger that Donald Trump represents!