US Senate

Obama’s State Of The Union: A Liberated President Making The Democratic Values Case!

Barack Obama is finally liberated as he began his seventh year in the Presidency on the sixth anniversary of his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.

Obama made an appeal to the opposition Republicans to cooperate and work together, but he also made clear he was going to charge ahead on a list of goals that are a marker for the next Democratic Presidential nominee and the Presidential Election of 2016.

He called for infrastructure spending; free community college tuition; child care tax credits; paid leave for workers; immigration reform; effective regulation of gun purchases; tax cuts for the middle class; tax increases on the wealthy and large financial institutions; pointed out the greatest economic success and growth since 1999; threatened use of the veto when necessary; called for authorization of force against ISIL (ISIS); called for action on climate change; used the term transgender in his call for fair treatment of gays and lesbians; called for more support in dealing with improved relations with Cuba; emphasized the need to fight against anti semitism, but also try to come up with a nuclear agreement with Iran; and work to avoid more troops on the ground overseas.

Much of this agenda will not be accomplished, but sets a goal line for the future.

Meanwhile, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa surprised many observers by NOT totally falling on her face in her Republican response to the State of the Union address, but her speech was mainly platitudes and folksiness, not substantial alternatives to what Obama proposed, but rather a condemnation of what Obama has done, particularly ObamaCare. She also did not speak on such important issues as climate change, immigration, foreign policy, and helping working families, but then, the Republicans always stand in the way of progress on so many issues, so it is not surprising that her speech was lacking.

Iowa Freshman Republican Senator Joni Ernst To Give Response To Obama State Of The Union Address: What A Comedy Routine It Will Likely Be!

One of the nuttiest, wackiest new Republicans in the new 114th Congress has been compared to former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Governor Saran Palin.

That is Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who, like Bachmann and Palin, has a great personal appearance, but it is clear that she, like Bachmann and Palin, has very little brain matter upstairs.

This woman acted in a goofy way when she accepted victory in the Iowa Senate race against Congressman Bruce Braley in November. She has spouted Tea Party values, which promote taking us backward and are narrow minded and intolerant. It will be interesting to see how she presents herself tonight, as the Republican response to the State of the Union address of President Obama.

She is an extremely poor replacement for Iowa’s distinguished former Senator Tom Harkin, who was one of the bright lights in the Senate, and sought the Presidency on the Democratic side in the 1992 Presidential race, with this blogger being in support of his candidacy, as the best person in that race.

Despite losing that competition, Harkin served for 30 exceptional years in the US Senate, and Iowa has made a mistake in electing this lightweight woman to be his replacement.

Watching her deliver the response to the State of The Union Address on Tuesday night will, likely, be entertaining, a comedy routine that will likely be repeated on Saturday Night Live, and joked about on Bill Maher’s show on HBO.

It is great to have more women in the Senate and House of Representatives, but somehow, the GOP seems incapable of getting bright, intelligent women to run for public office, as compared to those women who run on the Democratic line. This is a tragedy of major proportions!

Crowdpac Website Traces All Potential Presidential Candidates On Issues, Determining How Liberal Or Conservative They Really Are!

This blogger just discovered a great website that he wishes to pass on to his readership.

It is www.crowdpac.com, a site which researches and compares potential Presidential candidates of both parties on their issue positions, as well as seeing how they perform in the multitude of polls; check on their political donors; and try to judge if they are of the right qualities to be President of the United States.

The comparison as to how liberal or conservative they are is the most fascinating, and a total of 7 Democrats and 17 Republicans are assessed and evaluated.

So, in a broad sense, the 7 Democrats are seen as most liberal to least liberal in the following order:

Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Hillary Clinton
Martin O’Malley
Andrew Cuomo
Jim Webb
Joe Biden

And the 17 Republicans are seen as most conservative to least conservative in the following order:

Rand Paul
Ted Cruz
Scott Walker
Mike Pence
Dr. Benjamin Carson
Rick Perry
Marco Rubio
Mike Huckabee
Carly Fiorina
Bobby Jindal
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum
John Kasich
Rick Snyder
Jeb Bush
Jon Huntsman
Chris Christie

This ranking can be discussed and analyzed in detail over time, as events transform views of these potential Presidential candidates, but at this point, already, there are surprises!

Joe Biden comes across as the most centrist Democrat, which COULD give him a boost.

Chris Christie is the most centrist Republican, more than Jon Huntsman? That is a surprise! But Jeb Bush and John Kasich also comes across as quite centrist, along with comparatively unknown, and not seen as a serious candidate, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan. And Carly Fiorina, the failed Senate candidate against Barbara Boxer in California in 2010,and often a commentator now on CNN, suddenly is on the list, and could be the only woman Republican candidate for President, even though her career is totally corporate, never having served in public office!

Crowdpac looks like a site that will often be utilized by this blogger and by other political junkies!

Mitt Romney Fighting History, And Common Sense, By His Stated Plan To Run For President Again!

Mitt Romney has a massive ego, a sense of divine direction, a belief in himself as the only person who can move America forward!

What else can explain why the losing Republican Presidential nominee in 2012 is telling his supporters that he intends to run for President once again?

What can Mitt Romney say or do which will change our view of him, a view of a chameleon, with no principles, no convictions, no ethics, except to advance himself, despite being one of the wealthiest people ever to run for President, and having no real need to be President, except he wants to be President!

Mitt Romney is NOT going to be the 2016 GOP nominee, and trying to run to the right of Jeb Bush is a guaranteed lost cause, as there are more than enough true right wingers available, so why should he expect to beat out the likes of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, or Rick Perry, among others?

Romney does not even offer the idea of greater experience in public office, as he had the least such experience in American history, with the exception of Woodrow Wilson and Wendell Willkie, who had two years and no years of public government experience, as compared to Romney’s one term as Massachusetts Governor, but eager to run for President even as he just began his Governorship!

Romney has run two Presidential races, and lost one, and the list of Presidents who have lost and then won is small indeed.

It includes Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Grover Cleveland, and Richard Nixon.

All five had much more experience in government and or the military (in the case of Jackson and Harrison) than Mitt Romney.

Face the facts: Romney is NOT Thomas Jefferson; Romney is NOT Andrew Jackson; Romney is NOT Grover Cleveland; and most certainly, Romney is NOT Richard Nixon, who had broad experience and expertise. The Harrison comparison does not matter, as Harrison only served one month as President in 1841.

The best thing Mitt Romney could do is continue doing what he does best: making money faster than one can say one-two-three, as he is not going to be able to outlive his failure to run a decent, honest campaign, and he will NOT be the next Richard Nixon!

The Republican Presidential Race Is In Full Swing, Even Without Formal Announcements!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has stirred up a hornet’s nest, simply by indicating that he is considering seeking the Presidency, and taking the first steps in that direction.

Suddenly, we saw the reaction, including:

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee resigning from his Fox News Channel Sunday evening show

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee, indicating he is seriously considering running for President for a third time, encouraging financial supporters, and making known that his wife Anne is on board.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, making clear his intention to run, and attacking rivals Mike Huckabee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and even attacking Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who Santorum said he doubts will actually run for President. The language utilized by Santorum against these rivals was to call them “bomb throwers”, as if he has, himself, not been exactly that throughout his political career.

In the wings are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, as well as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (Mitt Romney’s running mate for Vice President in 2012).

The Presidential race has two components: the mainstream “establishment” race of Bush, Romney and Christie; and the Tea Party right wing race of the others; with Walker and Ryan possibly joining the mainstream “establishment” race, if they actually enter the fray.

And as I write, Donald Trump has hinted he plans to enter the race, only adding to the drama and, also, comedy, that will be present in the race!

The potential for 12 or more candidates getting in the race are good, and the gloves are starting to come off, and it should be a very interesting race, but on the way to defeat in 2016 to the Democratic nominee, most likely Hillary Clinton at this point, but really any Democrat having the edge in the Electoral College battle that decides the Presidency!

Presidential Ambitions, And Political Scandal Destroying Ambitions!

The ambition to be President is a “disease” which hits many people who think they are a “gift” to the nation, due to their own egotism and arrogance.

We have at least five potential Presidential candidates in the Republican Party who have gone through this metamorphosis of potential candidate, to the point of being engaged in a political scandal, destroying the careers of three of them, and potentially having the same effect on two others.

In the 2012 Presidential cycle, we had:

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who became involved in a sex scandal with an Argentine woman, which forced him out of office, and ended his Presidential ambitions, although he is now back in Congress by vote of his Congressional district, from where he had emerged as Governor before his downfall.

Senator John Ensign of Nevada, who also had Presidential ambitions, destroyed by a sex scandal, now back in his veterinarian practice.

Most recently, we had Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, whose Presidential ambitions went asunder, and now convicted of corruption, faces a prison term, a total downfall.

And then we have in the 2016 Presidential cycle two examples of ambition, egotism, and arrogance!

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are both involved in political scandals, but both seeking to run for President, with the likelihood of failure in their Presidential campaigns at the least, and possible legal issues for both of them at the most!

The Inauspicious Beginning Of The Republican 114th Congress: 25 Republicans Repudiate John Boehner, And White Supremacist Steve Scalise Kept As House Majority Whip!

The opening of the Republican controlled 114th Congress was an embarrassment in two major ways.

First, while Speaker John Boehner began his third two year term in that position, he suffered the repudiation of 25 members of his caucus, who refused to support him, making for the largest rebellion against a sitting Speaker in 150 years, since the Civil War era. Instead, these 25 rebels voted for Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (a distant descendant of the great Massachusetts Senator of the 19th century; Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert; Florida Congressman Ted Yoho; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Army General Colin Powell; and others, making a joke out of the proceedings.

Then, despite the outcry against Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, who spoke at a David Duke sponsored event in 2002, claiming not to know that Duke sponsored the event, failed to stop him from being kept on as House Majority Whip. Scalise had claimed in the past that he was a “David Duke Republican”, but now claims ignorance of the racist, antisemitic career of the former Ku Klux Klan leader and his connections to the American Nazi Party. Duke ran for Governor and Senator in the early 1990s in Louisiana, and former President George H. W. Bush led the fight against his candidacy for Governor in 1991, but somehow, Scalise was not affected by that history, and was wiling to connect himself to Duke. Yet, the GOP decided to keep him as third ranking Republican in the House.

So a very inauspicious beginning for the GOP, as they try to convince the American people that they represent the nation, and should gain the White House, as well as Capitol Hill, in 2016!

Mean Spirited, Nasty, Uncaring Republican Presidential Candidates!

The Republican Party of 2015 is, amazingly, a mean spirited, nasty, uncaring bunch, and this includes many potential Presidential candidates.

The potential nominees who stand out for these ugly traits include:

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania

Former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas

Former Governor Rick Perry of Texas

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas

Retired Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson of Maryland

At the same time, there are a few Republicans who might run for President, who do NOT come across with these ugly traits, including:

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida

Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida

Governor John Kasich of Ohio

Former Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah (if only he could be convinced to enter the race, highly unlikely at this point)

If any of the first group becomes the nominee of the GOP, it will make the most extremist right wing nominee in the 160 year history of the party that had such luminaries as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush. And it is an insurance that the GOP would suffer a massive defeat and repudiation in the Presidential race of 2016!

The Politics Of Genuine Personality: Few And Far Between!

To find a politician past or present who was a genuine personality, a REAL person, who gave or gives a damn about the American people, not his or her own agenda, has always been difficult, and the list of national leaders who fit this description, are, indeed, few and far between!

There is so much cynicism about politics, and the thought that there are no decent political leaders, who truly care about the welfare of their constituents and the betterment of the nation is common, BUT there are politicians who, through their actions and words, have proved how genuine they really are!

A selected list of such political leaders follows:

Senator Robert LaFollette Sr. of Wisconsin (1906-1925) (R) (Progressive)

Senator George Norris of Nebraska (1913-1933) (R)

Senator Robert Wagner, Sr. of New York (1927-1949) (D)

Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota (1949-1964, 1971-1978) also Vice President (1965-1969) (D)

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota (1963-1981) (D)

Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota (1991-2002) (D)

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin (1993-2011) (D)

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (2007- ) (Socialiat)

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (2013- ) (D)

Senator Joe Biden (1973-2009) also Vice President (2009- ) (D)

Vice President Joe Biden: The Star Of Day One Of The 114th Congress, A Charmer, And Very Much Underestimated For Presidential Election Of 2016!

Today was the opening day of the 114th Congress, and the star of the day was Vice President Joe Biden, playing the role of the President of the US Senate, and swearing in all of the Senators reelected, and those beginning their first term.

Not only did he do this ceremonial duty, but Joe Biden also did what he does best: charming the families of the Senators–the wives, the children, the grandchildren, the parents, the siblings, cousins, etc.

NO ONE does this better than Joe Biden, with his tremendous smile, jokes, charm, charisma, warm personality, and genuine nature!

It is very hard for anyone NOT to like Joe Biden, even if one disagrees with his viewpoints, actions, and statements. The guy is just an amazing, REAL, human being, who is an excellent politician, as he remembers names and faces like few politicians do.

Joe Biden sticks his neck out and take strong stands, and has done so for 42 years. NO ONE has the depth of experience on both foreign and domestic policy issues that Joe Biden has.

And yet, when he is mentioned for the Presidential race of 2016, he is seen as unlikely to run, unwilling to challenge Hillary Clinton, underestimated as having any realistic chance to be the 45th President of the United States!

But Joe Biden LOVES public service, has more than any one mentioned for President, stands out above everyone in total background and knowledge, and could be seen as an effective President, due to the fact that he has loads of friends, including Republican leaders, and could be nearly as effective as Lyndon B. Johnson was in a more crude manner!

But Biden would have more grace, more smoothness, and could accomplish, with his winning personality, more results than anyone since Lyndon B. Johnson, in the next four to eight years beyond 2016.

To assume that Joe Biden will not run is to underestimate his ambition; to assume that he could not be the nominee is to underestimate hid potential; to believe that he could not be the successor to Barack Obama is to underestimate the American people, who once he is unleashed, could fall in love with him, and elect him the 45th President of the United States!