US Senate

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!

The Midterm Elections: Far From Settled Results This Early!

After the Democratic Party started to panic over predictions of the likelihood of a debacle this coming November, it became clear that it is far from certain that the Senate will be lost, although one can certainly concede the loss of seats, and the fact that the change in House seats might be a few, but not a dramatic difference! In fact, with the reality of total gridlock in the House, and the worst legislative record under Speaker John Boehner in modern history, the Democrats might gain a few seats, although not likely to have a majority, as now projected.

The Republican Party needs to gain 6 seats in the Senate to have control, and while there are many Democratic seats up, and a lot of Democrats are retiring, that is still not a sign of GOP success, as they are very good at self destruction, and are on that road again.

The Tea Party Movement is certain to cause the loss of some traditional conservatives in the Senate, and to increase the chances of defeating a few GOP senators, to overcome the fact that there are more Democratic seats in contention.

And again, even if both houses are Republican, by 2016, the Senate is sure to be won back, and the House might go Democratic with a strong Presidential candidate heading the ticket, such as Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden!

The long term prognosis for the Republican Party is gloomy, while the long term prognosis for the Democrats is excellent!

The Dangers Of The Supreme Court Run Amuck In Favor Of Wealthy And Corporations!

The Supreme Court is totally out of control, with its new decision on having no limits on campaign spending by wealthy donors, added on to the Citizens United Case of 2010, and the limitation of voting rights in a 2013 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified a five member GOP majority to destroy all attempts to prevent corporate and wealthy people from controlling the political system, an effort pursued from the time of Theodore Roosevelt a century ago through Senator John McCain and Senator Russ Feingold in the 1990s and early 2000s.

That is all for naught now, and shows the dangers of a runaway, reckless, right wing radical Court!

This is what made Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama criticize Court power, along with progressive reformers including Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Senator George Norris of Nebraska, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

This is the result of 13 Supreme Court nominees since 1960 by Republican Presidents, to only 8 by Democrats, and with two of those Democratic appointments (Arthur Goldberg by John F. Kennedy and Abe Fortas by Lyndon B. Johnson), only lasting three and four years respectively.

Of course, Republican appointments of Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush, turned out to be major surprises in their rulings, but we also ended up with some of the most reactionary and right wing radical appointments in all of American history with the appointments of William Rehnquist by Richard Nixon and the elevation of Rehnquist to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan; Lewis Powell by Richard Nixon; Antonin Scalia by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito by George W. Bush. The appointments of Chief Justice Warren Burger by Richard Nixon; Anthony Kennedy by Ronald Reagan; and Chief Justice John Roberts by George W. Bush, have been more of a mixed bag, sometimes good, and sometimes horrible in its effect on constitutional law!

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy selected a mostly conservative Justice Byron White; Lyndon B Johnson selected Thurgood Marshall; Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, but sadly, their influence in the last four of the five names listed, has been mostly in being the opposition, sometimes vehement in nature!

The effect on the future of American democracy is massive, with this right wing Court majority, and the only hope is the eventual retirement of Scalia and Kennedy, and hopefully, continuation of a Democratic Senate and President for the rest of the decade, so that the Court changes direction in the future!

Jeb Bush Suddenly Emerges As GOP Front Runner For 2016!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has suddenly emerged as the theoretical front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, after a visit to Las Vegas and kissing the ring of billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Other present time Governors–Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich—also saw Adelson, who is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to back a Republican who will support his causes, including strong support of Israel, and working to overcome the Barack Obama Administration initiatives in many areas of domestic policy.

Jeb Bush has the advantage that he might draw support from a portion of the Hispanic-Latino community, as well as African Americans, and women. He is a favorite of the Establishment Republicans on Wall Street, who are terrified at the horrible Tea Party activists, such as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.

But the fact that his brother was unpopular, and in many ways, disastrous, works against Bush, and really, many might say, three Bushes is a bit much!

Once he would actually announce, his record as Florida Governor will be dissected, and while there are some good points one can make about Jeb, he was not universally popular when governor of the Sunshine State!

His own mother, Barbara Bush, has advised against running, and Bush has been out of office for ten years by 2016, making him longer out of office than any Presidential nominee who held an elective office, since Abraham Lincoln, who was out of office for twelve years, when he ran for President in 1860.

Much more could be said about the pluses and minuses of Jeb Bush as a Presidential candidate, and particularly against Hillary Clinton. There is time for that if Jeb actually announces. Could he, for instance, really win the caucuses and primaries in a party that is so right wing now? Does the nation really want a Bush and a Clinton in the same election, with Bushes going back to the 1980s, and Clintons to the 1990s, when now we are in the mid 2010′s?

That discussion can wait until he decides to run, and do not bet on that occurring!

The Republicans Do NOT Understand Their Destructive Public Image!

The Republican Party clearly does not get how horrible their public image is, and that the only way they can gain control of the Senate and keep the House of Representatives is to promote fear, hatred, hysteria, and encourage ignorance among those groups which are harmed by their rhetoric and policies!

The GOP stands now for voter suppression, of African Americans, Latinos, young people, the elderly, poor people, making it harder for all these groups to be able to vote, with all kinds of methods and manipulation, reminiscent of the old Southern Democrats, but now not only in the South but nationwide. They know that they cannot win unless they prevent people from voting, and the Republican Governors have no shame as they work to undermine the 15th Amendment to the Constitution!

Also, there is no shame in Republican Governors and other Republicans in Washington, willing to work with billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, to undermine American democracy by kowtowing to these wealthy, privileged oligarchs and autocrats, and working to harm women, labor, the environment, gays and lesbians, racial minorities, and poor people in their quest for absolute dominance over our government for their own selfish purposes!

One would think that the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson and others have much more in assets and fortune than anyone could ever need in a lifetime, or even give to their heirs, but their selfishness, greed, obsession with money, is so deep that they have no sense of propriety, no sense of ethics, no sense of morality, and do not even feel ashamed of their behavior!

How can Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich and other Republican Governors or former Governors, along with Senate and House Republicans, considering the idea of running for President, not be embarrassed by their open begging for financial support from these corrupt billionaires? They are ready to sell their souls for power, in such an open and outrageous manner, that one wonders how any thinking, intelligent American could possibly vote for and believe in them as a potential President of the United States!

The Republicans, by their own behavior and public image, are self destructing, and they seem unable to, or unaware of, the damage they are doing, which will be part of the story in the future of how the GOP disappeared as a legitimate alternative, representing the dinosaur of a declining white population, coupled with a younger generation becoming much more Democratic than many observers are willing to acknowledge!