US Senate

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Senator Lindsey Graham: A Toady To Donald Trump, Who John McCain Would Condemn And More!

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has long been controversial in so many ways, but when his good friend, former Arizona Senator John McCain, passed away in 2018, the world witnessed a man who had totally lost all credibility, after being a massive critic of Donald Trump.

It is embarrassing to see the denuncations of Graham regarding Trump, followed by total obsequiousness to Trump since McCain’s death.

Even when Trump continued to denounce John McCain in the years since his death, Graham had nothing to say.

It is clear to any intelligent person that if McCain was still alive and in the Senate, he would have, at least symbolically, been motivated to slap Graham front and back and in the head, for his traitorous behavior!

And now, Graham says unless Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky makes obedience to Trump a priority, that Graham will vote against McConnell remaining as the leader of the party, whether minority or majority status!

As much as McConnell has been a disgrace and a disaster as Republican leader, he still has enough self dignity that he will not be likely to bend to Donald Trump.

And if push comes to shove, at this time, it would seem that the Republican caucus would NOT join Graham in replacing McConnell as their Senate leader!

Republican National Committee Threatening To Refuse To Participate In Presidential Debates In 2024!

The Republican National Committee is threatening to refuse to participate in Presidential debates in 2024, as they complain that the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates is one sided and favors Democrats, and that the moderators selected are biased.

Ronna McDaniel, who happens to be a niece of Senator Mitt Romney, is making these threats, which even her uncle thinks is outrageous!

It is clear the Republican party does not want to expose itself to any criticism of Donald Trump, or whatever lackey of Trump ends up as the GOP Presidential nominee.

This is another step in the Republican Party moving toward Fascist authoritarianism, as they seem to feel why should people be able to vote, therefore promoting voter suppression laws in Republican controlled states, and now the refusal to face the challenge of their opponents.

There should be a way to prevent such a threat, as it undermines American democracy, the Constitution, and the rule of law!

Sad 44th Anniversary Of The Passing Of Hubert Humphrey, My Original Political Hero!

On this day, January 13, 1978, 44 years ago, my original political hero, Senator, Vice President, and Presidential nominee Hubert H. Humphrey passed away from cancer at the young age of 66.

When I was young, Humphrey became my political hero, with his strong liberal championship of views on civil rights, and introducing many ideas that became part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society in the mid 1960s.

Not well utliized by Johnson, Humphrey became the nominee of the Democratic Party for the Presidency in 1968, a divided party that had elements rallying around Senator Robert F. Kennedy before his tragic assassination, and also those who backed fellow Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy.

In a three way Presidential race, Humphrey would fall short, losing to Richard Nixon, and with George Wallace being a strong third party candidate.

Humphrey, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis, and then a US Senator from 1949-1965, returned to the Senate in 1971, replacing the retiring Senator McCarthy, and competed unsuccessfully for the Presidential nomination in 1972, and remained a major figure until his untimely death in 1978.

This author and blogger literally wept when Humphrey died, as I was drawn to his humanity, empathy, decency, and compassion.

And once he passed away, I looked around the US Senate for a successor leader I could believe in, and found the young Delaware Senator Joe Biden, still in his first term at age 35.

I feel fortunate that although there were many barriers to Joe Biden’s advancement to the Presidency, that after serving in the Senate for 36 years, and as Vice President under Barack Obama for eight years, that four years later, on his third try for the Oval Office, Biden finally won, and saved the nation from the menace of Donald Trump.

Neither Humphrey nor Biden were or are perfect, no such situation exists, but the two men shared characteristics that caused me to fall in love with them as political leaders.

I am sure that Humphrey would be very proud of Joe Biden, and the two men stand out as uncommonly models of leadership!

Republican Party Scammers Of Gullible Voters: From Trump To Republican Members Of Congress!

The Republican Party has become a group of scammers, taking advantage of gullible voters, who are asked to give their hard earned money to wealthy politicians, who tell them lies and mistruths.

The leading scammer, of course, is former President Donald Trump, who has gained hundreds of millions of dollars from those who have come to believe the “Big Lie”, that Trump won the election.

But also, Republican senators including Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and others, and Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, Matt Gaetz, and others, and really all of the traitors–seditionists of January 6 are taking advantage of people who believe anything they say!

There should be prosecution of all these scammers, and prison time, and banning of such scammers from serving in Congress in the future!

And Donald Trump should face incarceration!

Rand Paul And Ted Cruz Are The Most Obnoxious Republicans Of All!

In 2016, there were 17 Republicans contending for President.

Many would say that Donald Trump was the most scary of the 17, but I would argue, that despite the horrors that Donald Trump has imposed on the American people, at the time, two other contenders seemed even more terrifying.

And these two scary and despicable candidates are still potentially interested in being President, and would be no better, and possibly worse, than Donald Trump, believe it or not!

I am speaking about Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul!

Cruz and Paul both promote division and hate, and can be seen as totally evil characters, who would undermine American democracy, and promote Fascist ideas, as they already have done so in the Senate.

One wonders how the citizens of Texas and Kentucky do not have the common sense to dump these villainous Senators, who have no concern about common decency, empathy, and compassion.

Both have lied, manipulated, deceived, and have no ethics, scruples, or morals!

Rand Paul is up for election this year, and for the benefit of poor Kentuckians of all faces, needs to be retired, as his libertarian craziness is a total disaster.

He has not stopped causing threats on Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the crazies have threatened Fauci, due to the recklessness of Paul, as outlined today in a Senate hearing by Fauci.

And Ted Cruz, who conspired to overthrow the election of Joe Biden, has degraded himself by kowtowing to Donald Trump, and clearly is afraid of Demagogue Tucker Carlson of Fox News Channel, after having a moment of sanity and stating that January 6 was indeed a terrorist attack and insurrection, before backing off to the evil Carlson, who is provoking a potential civil war!

On Eve Of Voting Rights Vote In Senate, Why Cannot At Least Ten GOP Senators Vote Support?

In 2006, the US Senate voted 98-0 for extension of the Voting Rights Act.

In 2022, it seems highly unlikely that even one Republican Senator will do so, therefore undermining American democracy.

The concept that there are not at least 10 Republican Senators who have the courage and the principle that voting rights matter, and are willing to go on record to that effect, is mind blowing.

Why cannot Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, both of whom voted to convict Donald Trump in the second impeachment trial, and are safely in office through 2026, vote to support voting rights?

Why cannot Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who has been elected to the Senate as an Independent in a three way race in 2010, and is often an outlier in the party, including voting to convict Donald Trump, support voting rights, even though she faces election in 2022?

Why cannot Mitt Romney of Utah, who also voted to convict Donald Trump, and is seen as more centrist than anyone in the party in the Senate, other than Collins and Murkowski, have the ability to vote to support voting rights?

Why cannot Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who also voted to convict Donald Trump, and who has his seat until 2026, as Collins and Sasse also do, have the courage to support voting rights?

Why cannot Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Burr of North Carolina, both who also voted to convict Donald Trump, and are leaving the Senate at the end of 2022, do the right thing and support voting rights?

Why cannot Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Richard Shelby of Alabama, all retiring, do the right thing and support voting rights?

If all of the above did the right thing, we would have 10 Republican Senators joining with the 50 Democrats, and voting rights would be restored!

The Donald Trump Mafia And “Religious” Type Cult Controls The Remnants Of The Republican Party!

It is time to recognize that Donald Trump is like a Mafia Chieftan, a gang leader, a cult leader, with many so called “religious” people, both right wing evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews, following his lead, and believing he is the savior of their America!

The Presidential Election of 2020 was the only time when America did not experience a peaceful transfer of power, as even after Lincoln was elected in 1860, his inauguration went forward without direct threat, although there was a “Baltimore Plot” that was prevented from success and open bloodshed!

Their America is one of racism, sexism, nativism, misogyny, Islamophobia, and even antisemitism, as well as worshipper of guns, and homophobic!

Donald Trump is clearly still a threat to national security and to American democracy, and it is essential to ban him from being able to run again for President, utilizing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, as this author and blogger wrote about on this blog a few days ago.

But also, the conspirators of January 6, 2021 must be prevented from holding public office, as they are the true scum which has no regard for human life and safety!

Even when one of the worst conspirators of all, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, has a relapse and admits the terrorist attack, along comes the evil Tucker Carlson of Fox News Channel, who intimidates him back into obedience to the cult!

The Republican Party is a very sick party, and a threat to the future of American democracy, and must be overcome on all levels, a battle for the ages to redeem what Abraham Lincoln spoke for during the Civil War!

Future Democratic House Of Representatives Leadership–Hakeem Jeffries Vs Adam Schiff Likely Choice!

It seems clear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will give up leadership in the House of Representatives after the Midterm Elections in November 2022.

Pelosi had pledged she would do so, back in 2018, so it would be difficult to change her mind.

There is the argument that the Democrats need younger House leadership, since Pelosi is 82 this coming March; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is 83 this coming June; and House Majority Whip James Clyburn is 82 this coming July.

There has never been a situation in which the top three House leaders are all octogenarians, although all three are very alert and competent.

As one looks ahead to the future, at this moment, the major competition for the Democratic leadership in 2023, whether majority or minority in the House of Representatives, seems to be between Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and Adam Schiff of California.

If Jeffries who is now 51 and has been in Congress since 2013 becomes the leader, he would be the first African American leader of either party. He is 5th ranking Democrat in the House as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. He was one of the seven House managers in the first Senate impeachment trial in January 2020 against President Donald Trump.

If Adam Schiff, who has been in Congress since 2001 becomes the leader, he would be the first Jewish House leader, although Chuck Schumer is now Senate Majority Leader. He is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and was the lead manager, heading a group of seven, in the first Trump impeachment trial in 2020.

Essential To Pass Voting Rights Legislation, Which Republicans In Senate Supported Unanimously In 2006!

Voting Rights legislation is essential if America is to remain a democracy.

The 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24, and 26th Amendments guarantee voting rights, as did the Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed as part of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Supreme Court in 2013 weakened the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County V Holder, and have caused the deterioration of voting rights, now accelerated by many states in the South and Midwest and Mountain West creating all kinds of restrictions, designed to prevent minority groups, the elderly, college students, and the disabled from ability to vote.

This MUST be reversed by dropping the filibuster and allowing “reconciliation” to be used to insure voting rights are restored to what they were.

The shocking thing about this whole matter is that the Republican party unanimously supported renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 under the Presidency of Republican George W. Bush! The vote was 98-0, so therefore, there is no excuse for Republican opposition other than they have allowed their party to be hijacked by Donald Trump and his supporters.

But it is still hard to believe that at least some Republican senators–such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and others who voted to convict Donald Trump, and also those Republican Senators retiring in 2022, should by their consience, if they have one, support the voting rights legislation promoted now–the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Freedom To Vote Act.

Nineteen states have passed 34 restrictive laws, which would be negated by passage of the above two proposed laws. Meanwhile, 25 states have passed 62 expansive laws, and the right to vote should be the same in every state, so action to overcome restrictions is essential!