US Senate

Marco Rubio Faces Problems In Presidential Bid And Florida Senate Reelection Contest

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is not having good tidings lately, as he considers whether to run for President in 2016, or seek a second Senate term.

Florida does not allow a candidate to be on the ballot for two political races, so Rubio must decide his future.

At this point, polls indicate he is way behind fellow Floridian Jeb Bush for support, even within the Sunshine State, among Republicans for the Presidential nomination.

Rubio has alienated many Tea Party types and others in the Republican Party for having worked for immigration reform, and then backing away from it under harsh criticism by the Republican right wing base.

Rubio has also indicated frustration being a United States Senator, and he faces a potential threat from a number of Democrats for his seat, whether he runs again for it or chooses to leave the Senate to run for President.

Democratic National Chairwoman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Patrick Murphy, and believe it or not, former Governor Charlie Crist, and even Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, are all seen as interested in the race, and Rubio cannot count on South Florida for support, with three South Floridians, including comparatively moderate Murphy, potentially running.

Of course, there would be major fireworks in a Democratic primary, with both Wasserman Schultz and Crist having antagonized many while serving in government and running for office, which might give Murphy an advantage, and possibly even Levine, a comparative newcomer to politics like Murphy is, as well.

Marco Rubio And Rand Paul, The Presidency, And Their Senate Seats

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky are both seriously considering running for the Presidency, but they both face the quandary that if they so decide, they must forfeit running for reelection to the Senate in 2016. State laws in Florida and Kentucky prevent them running for both jobs at the same time.

This was not the case in other Presidential elections, as shown by:

Lyndon B. Johnson running for Vice President in 1960 while running for reelection to the Senate in Texas.

Lloyd Bentsen running for Vice President in 1988 while running for reelection to the Senate in Texas.

Joe Lieberman running for Vice President in 2000 while running for reelection to the Senate in Connecticut.

Paul Ryan running for Vice President in 2012 while running for reelection to the House Of Representatives in Wisconsin.

All four were elected to their Congressional seats, with only Johnson vacating it to become Vice President.

But notice that in all four of these cases, the position they were running for was Vice President, not President.

So both Rubio and Paul face a difficult situation, and one would advise that they think long and hard about giving up their Senate seats, even though both seem, clearly, too ambitious to be President, and do not seem to love their Senate positions, as simply too restrictive for their egos!

Diversity In The Presidential Race? Not Really As Much As Advertised!

The Republican Party, which has gained a reputation of being anti black, anti Hispanic immigrant, anti women is trying to convince Americans that they are really a diverse party, when it comes to the Presidential competition for 2016.

So they will point out the following:

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is Cuban American.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is Cuban American.

Pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson is African American.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is Asia American (India)

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is female.

Many potential GOP candidates are Catholic, including Rubio, Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rick Santorum.

But of course, the fact that Rubio and Cruz are Cuban Americans means they represent about three percent of the Hispanic community, and it is highly unlikely that Mexican Americans (65 percent) and Puerto Rican Americans (about 25 percent) would support them in large numbers, with both groups being heavily Democratic.

And the odds that any of the above will be the Republican nominee for President is extremely low, other than Jeb Bush, who has switched his religious beliefs to Catholicism.

But the Democrats, in a much shorter list of potential candidates, also have diversity.

Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are females.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is Jewish.

Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are Catholics.

If Hillary Clinton were not a prohibitive favorite, it would be likely that New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, both African Americans; and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, a female, would have entered the race.

Ronald Reagan: The Unvarnished Truth! Myth Versus Reality!

Ronald Reagan is treated as a saint by the conservative movement and the Republican Party, as a man and a President who could do no wrong, but the truth is otherwise.

Of course, no President and no human being is perfect, and all commit mistakes or show lack of sensitivity, but the point is that the 40th President’s image and historical record needs to come down to earth, on this, the 104th anniversary of his birth, and a quarter century after his leaving office.

So what should Americans and others know about Ronald Reagan, that is not general knowledge?

As California Governor and as President, the issue of mental illness was dealt with by cutting spending, and throwing mental patients onto the streets of America, creating a great increase in homeless population.

As head of the Screen Actors Guild in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Reagan cooperated with the House Unamerican Activities Committee investigation of Communists; worked with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare; and was an FBI informant for J. Edgar Hoover, all to protect his own image and security as he had been a strong liberal Democrat, and supporter of the New Deal.

Reagan sold illegal arms to Iran, what became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, as he worked to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, despite Congressional admonitions banning such activities.

Reagan backed the apartheid government of South Africa, despite its horrific violation of human rights, and vetoed a sanctions law, which was passed over his veto in 1986.

Reagan’s Presidency saw the greatest amount of scandals of all sizes, only surpassed by the administrations of Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Warren G. Harding in overall malfeasance.

Reagan’s record on the environment is regarded by scholars as the absolute worst of all Presidents since 1900, and a big letdown after Jimmy Carter, who had one of the top three performances on that issue in American history.

Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis until 1987, and ridiculed the “gay plague”, only taking any interest when young hemophiliac Ryan White, and actor Rock Hudson, were revealed to have the disease in 1985.

Reagan supported backing the groups which fought Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, including such future terrorists as Osama Bin Laden; and also gave support to Saddam Hussein of Iraq in war with Iran, while still supplying arms to Iran.

The high ethical and moral standard said to be part of Reagan’s persona has now been revealed to be inappropriate, as he has been shown to have cheated on his first wife, Jane Wyman, and to have had affairs with dozens of actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Doris Day, among many others.

For a man who professed “family values”, Reagan and his wife Nancy ignored their children, Patti and Ron, Jr; and hardly saw their grandchild from Reagan stepson Michael; and hardly ever attended church services, although flirting with the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority of the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

So the truth about Ronald Reagan is far from the myth that has been promoted!

Scott Walker, The New “Glamour Boy” Of The GOP: A Lightweight Candidate For President!

The new “glamour boy” of the Republican Party, being touted by many observers, is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who wowed many at the Iowa Conservative Conference, hosted by Tea Party Congressman Steve King.

Walker is a favorite of the Koch Brothers, who helped Walker to survive the recall attempt in 2012, and helped him win the gubernatorial race in 2014.

Since this third victory in four years, Scott Walker has been very cocky, arrogant and egotistical, bragging about having had three victories for Governor in four years, and how he is the “new face” that the Republican Party needs to win the Presidency.

The argument is that he can carry the Midwest and gain his home state for the Republicans, a claim that no serious political analyst believes to be true.

YES, a Governor who is Republican can win many states, but winning a Presidential election is something very different!

Walker has zero foreign policy expertise and knowledge, and demonstrated it on ABC’s This Week, in an interview with Martha Radditz. He showed the same lack of knowledge and smarts as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin showed in 2008.

Walker has done great damage to labor; to education; to health care for the poor and disadvantaged; and is being investigated for his connections to Tea Party and outside corporate interests.

Walker has taken the state of Robert LaFollette, Sr.; Robert LaFollette, Jr.; William Proxmire; Gaylord Nelson; Patrick Lucey; and Russ Feingold, and brought corruption and undermining of good government to the Badger State.

For that, he cannot be forgiven, and the goal must be to undermine his potential front runner status, mostly coming about as a “fresh face”, instead of retreads, such as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabbee; and more extreme right wingers, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.

Scott Walker is bad news, and he is starting to be exposed for the phony he is, and the lack of intellect that he clearly demonstrates!

The Anti Vaccine Republican Crowd: Pure Madness, Defying Science And Medicine!

One would think that the Republican Party had reached its nadir with the Tea Party Movement whackos, but now they have hit a new low, and it does not only include Tea Party types, but even so called “Establishment” Republicans!

We have now seen Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie come out in support of allowing parents to decide if their young children are to be vaccinated when they are infants and before they attend school, as there has been a crisis with a new outbreak of the measles virus. Christie tried to reverse himself, but sadly, once said, it is too late to modify his idiotic original statement!

It is not an issue of parental rights, but of responsibility to society, that ALL parents MUST accept the idea that their kids MUST be vaccinated, even if it is against their so called “religious” beliefs!

Religion or crazy ideas cannot trump the public safety of all of us and all of our children, and if parents refuse, the only answer is to arrest and charge them with a crime, and take away their children, who unlike Rand Paul says, are not “owned” by their parents, a weird and sick term for him to use.

The idea that libertarian Rand Paul and mainstream Republican Chris Christie could take such a reckless and irresponsible stand is beyond common sense!

It is now essential that all potential Republican nominees for the Presidency be required to give a conclusive answer on this matter, and NOW, not months from now!

And any potential nominee who at all agrees with Paul and Christie should automatically be repudiated as unacceptable to be the nominee, and if such a person is nominated, or the party takes the anti vaccine stand in the upcoming Presidential campaign, then the intelligent, educated population MUST fight tooth and nail to make sure that we do not have a government leader who repudiates science and medicine!

And a brief compliment to potential nominee Dr. Benjamin Carson, who has said and promoted many reckless things, and who this author thinks is totally unqualified for the Presidency, and will continue to promote that idea: Dr. Carson, thank you for making clear how you believe that vaccinations are necessary!

Final Decision On Democratic National Convention Due: New York, Philadelphia, Or Columbus, Ohio?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will be announcing sometime this month where the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held in the summer of 2016.

The finalists are New York City, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio.

Many might say having the convention in the number one city in America (New York City), or in the city representing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia), would be the best choice.

However, realize that both New York State and Pennsylvania are strongly “blue” states in Presidential elections, and therefore, nothing electorally is gained by choosing either city.

On the other hand, selecting Columbus, Ohio, the capital city of the Buckeye State, is a strategically very smart move, particularly with the fact that the Republican National Convention is to be held in Cleveland.

Ohio is the ultimate swing state, having been with the winner every election since 1964, and it is, certainly, one of only five truly “swing states” up for contention.

The Democrats could win the Presidency without Ohio, but with the GOP in Ohio, and the strong possibility that either Governor John Kasich or Senator Rob Portman could be the Vice Presidential running mate for Jeb Bush or others, and that Kasich himself could run for President, it would be extremely smart and sensible to compete for Ohio in the convention situation, along with the Republicans in Cleveland.

So the Democrats should seriously make the decision to go for Columbus, and make Ohio a true rivalry for party support, and if Ohio went to the Democrats, it would clinch for sure the winning of the Presidency by any Presidential nominee, no matter who it was!

So my prediction is that the Democrats will see the reasoning suggested in this blog entry, and will choose Columbus, Ohio, over New York City and Philadelphia. We shall see how my prediction works out in the next month!

I remind my readers that I correctly predicted Tampa, Florida, as the convention site of the Republicans in 2012!

Presidential Veto Useful Method For Presidents To Protect Their Goals And Agenda

President Barack Obama has only utilized the Presidential veto twice in six years in office, but now, when he makes it clear that he will use it to stop GOP attempts to destroy his legacy, there are outcries of dictatorship by the right wing.

But every President has used the veto power, and Obama has every right, constitutionally, to use this power that was put into the Constitution.

Remember that Presidents usually win veto battles, with history telling us that 96 percent of the time, the President’s veto is NOT overridden by a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and of the US Senate.

Every modern President has used the veto liberally, as shown below:

Roosevelt– 635 Truman– 250 Eisenhower– 181 Kennedy– 21 Johnson—30 Nixon– 43 Ford– 66 Carter– 31 Reagan– 78 Bush I– 44 Clinton– 37 Bush II– 12

Many earlier Presidents also used the veto a lot–particularly Grover Cleveland with 584 in two nonconsecutive terms; Ulysses S. Grant with 93 in two terms; and Theodore Roosevelt with 82 in two term.

Many other Presidents, including Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover used the veto liberally!

Only Presidents in the early years never used the veto, and only a few have had a large number of vetoes overridden, including Andrew Johnson, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford in double digits with 15, 12 and 12 percent overridden.

So, Barack Obama, do what you wish, in the name of protecting your legacy, and doing what is good for the future of the nation, despite criticism!

The 114th Congress Anti Science Climate Denier Caucus: An Unmitigated Disaster!

The Republican 114th Congress is, sadly, one of a majority of anti science climate deniers, at a shocking level.

Twelve states have a majority of their Congressional delegation, sometimes including some Democrats, who are anti science, anti evolution and anti climate change. These states include West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Alaska.

All states have at least 25 percent anti science climate deniers, except the following: Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, Oregon, and Hawaii.

This is a terrible omen for the future, as putting our heads in the sand on climate change will insure a worse life for our children and grandchildren.

But that does not phase Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and others who deny, deny, deny to the point where one wants to scream, based on the available evidence.

And Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe is the most vehement climate change denier, and cannot be reasoned with at all!

But President Barack Obama is doing what he can, including rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Republicans Declare War On National Parks: Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, And Others Turning Over In Their Graves!

It is hard to conceive, but the 2015 Republican Party has declared war on America’s national park system, wishing to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and other kinds of natural resource exploitation in our national treasure, our public lands!

A bill has been introduced to prevent any future President, along with President Barack Obama, to create any more national parks, a bill which will gain the Presidential veto if it were to pass both houses!

Fortunately, there would be no possibility of a two thirds override of the Presidential veto, as any such banning of additional national parks would be a war on the environment, and a sin against nature!

This attack on nature and conservation would cause the turning over in their graves of President Theodore Roosevelt, National Forestry Service head Gifford Pinchot (under the TR Presidency), as well as a multitude of Republicans similar to those two party members, as well as Democrats, and all decent, caring citizens. It would also cause dismay among Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, all who added greatly to our national parks.

Barack Obama is adding wide swaths of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the national parks, even with opposition from Alaska politicians, including Senator Lisa Murkowksi, who is catering to the oil and gas interests over preserving the last great area of untouched nature.

This is yet another reason why no Republican can be allowed to be elected President, as with a Republican controlled Congress, we would be on the precipice of a disaster of massive proportions, and that cannot be allowed to occur!