US Senate

Cory Booker And Kamala Harris Appointments To Senate Judiciary Committee A Boost To Their Predicted Presidential Candidacies In 2020

The appointment of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris to the Senate Judiciary Committee is a boost to both legislators, both considered likely Presidential candidates a year from now.

Booker is African American, and Harris is mixed race with a parent born in Jamaica and a parent born in India.

Both have exceptional credentials, with Booker having bachelors degree in political science and masters degree in Sociology from Stanford; a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in American history; and a law degree from Yale Law School. He served on the Newark City Council from 1998-2002; as Newark Mayor from 2006-2013, and has been in the US Senate since 2013. He has also served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Environment and Public Works Committee. He is an impressive orator and highly intelligent and qualified.

Kamala Harris graduated Howard University in Washington, DC, and Hasting Law School of the University of California. She worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and the City Attorney’s Office, and then was elected and served as San Francisco District Attorney from 2004-2011, followed by election and service as California Attorney General from 2011-2017, and was elected to the Senate to serve beginning in 2017. She serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs; Budget Committee; and Intelligence Committee; as well as her recant appointment to the Judiciary Committee. She is highly regarded for her oratory and intellectual brilliance.

Having had the excellent experience of Barack Obama in the Presidency, we now have the possibility of another person who is not white being a future President, and very possibly over time, both of them, with Harris being 56 and Booker 51 in 2020, so the long range potential is clearly present, if not in 2020, for a future President Booker or President Harris or both over time!

Off Shore Drilling Prevented In Florida By Rick Scott Intervention: Time To Prevent All Off Shore Drilling On All Coasts Of United States!

The Trump Administration and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke have called for open offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and in the waters surrounding Alaska, a violation of past environmental policies.

Favoring the oil and gas industries over the preservation of our coastlines is an outrage, and all Governors of the states affected have protested, rightfully.

But already, Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida, who plans to run for Bill Nelson’s Senate seat this fall, has joined Nelson and Republican Senator Marco Rubio in pressing for leaving Florida out of the offshore drilling edict, and the Trump Administration and Zinke have caved in, clearly for political reasons.

But that is not enough, as all states with ocean shoreline should be freed from this cave in to the oil and gas industry, and we do NOT need such exploration of our oceans, and too many oil spills and accidents have occurred, which kill of ocean life and pollute the waters.

The problem is that most of the coastal states are “blue”, or Democratic states,in New England, the Middle Atlantic, and the Pacific Coast. This includes Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, with only the latter three being Republican states, as is Florida. The Pacific Coast states include Washington, Oregon, and California, along with Hawaii and Alaska, with all but Alaska being Democratic states. Alaska, Florida, and California are the top three in coastline waters.

This should not be a political issue, and the fight to protect our wetlands is one that must be fought in a vehement, no holds barred, manner.

It should also include any new drilling in the Great Lakes area and along our various river systems, as we need to move toward alternative sources of energy, as so many nations in Europe, particularly Germany as an example, are doing.

Oprah Winfrey For President? Absolutely Not!

We have entered the silly season, when Democrats, who are desperate for someone to replace Donald Trump or Mike Pence in 2020, have decided that Oprah Winfrey is the person to nominate and elect President.

This author and blogger has no issue with the significance of Oprah Winfrey to the entertainment community at large.

Oprah has had a wonderful and inspiring career, and has spoken up for much that is good and decent.

It is not an attack on her virtues to say that a speech at the Golden Globes Awards ceremony, while inspiring, is not a justification for her to be running for President.

Of course, she can run if she chooses to, but that does not mean America should elect her, or Mark Cuban, or Dwayne Johnson, or Mark Zuckerberg, or any other successful entrepreneur or entertainment star to the White House.

We should have learned from Donald Trump that being successful in entertainment or business does not qualify you to be the leader of the free world, far from it.

All of the above, including Trump, lack EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE in GOVERNMENT and FOREIGN POLICY, and in this complex world, one needs to have had a career in government, as a US Senator, a US House of Representatives member, a Governor, or a Mayor, or possibly a significant cabinet officer, such as Secretary of State, Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, or Attorney General.

One needs a record of accomplishment and involvement in the domestic and foreign policy issues that matter.

Such a person, just one example, is former Vice President Joe Biden, who if not for his age, would be seen as the best person for 2020, but the answer is to use Joe Biden’s great credentials, combined with the idealism and progressive credentials of a Joe Kennedy III or Chris Murphy or Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker or Eric Garcetti or Kamala Harris or Gavin Newsom or numerous others as a Vice President.

Have Joe Biden agree to one term, followed by the likelihood of one of these government leaders succeeding, in theory, for two terms.

Any of the above and even others in government would be far better than a celebrity, such as Oprah Winfrey by vast margins!

Former Living Vice Presidents To Be Proud Of: Walter Mondale, Al Gore, Joe Biden

Today, January 5, marks the 90th Birthday of former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Two days ago, when Vice President Mike Pence swore in Doug Jones and Tina Smith as new Senators from Alabama and Minnesota, we had Mondale join Joe Biden, and we had a rare scene of three Vice Presidents together.

Biden came to DC to be there for his good friend, Doug Jones, and Mondale was in DC to support a new Minnesota Senator, Tina Smith.

It brought back memories of when Mondale was Vice President under Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981, and when Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama from 2009-2017.

Both Vice Presidents were extremely close to their Presidents, and both played a major role in adding to the stature and influence of the Vice Presidency.

Also, with Mondale reaching the age of 90, it marks the second President and Vice President who reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

It will be 37 years out of office for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale on January 20, an all time record out of office for any President and Vice President.

Also, Mondale became today the sixth Vice President to reach the age of 90, along with three Presidents who served as Vice President–John Adams, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush–and two Vice Presidents who lived longer than any of the others—John Nance Garner under Franklin D. Roosevelt, living to age 98, and Levi Morton under Benjamin Harrison, living to age 96.

The scene of three Vice Presidents together also brought back the tragic result of the Presidential Election of 2000, when Vice President Al Gore under Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, won the national popular vote by 540,000, and yet lost the Electoral College 271-266, when the Republican majority Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush, awarding Florida to Bush by 537 votes out of a total of 6 million.

One has to wonder how Al Gore would have been as President, with the assurance that he would have done better than Bush.

The scene of Mike Pence posing with Mondale and Biden also sobers us that he is likely to become the 46th President this year, unless he is shown to have collaborated on the Russian collusion, and if so, could be the second Vice President to resign due to scandal, after Spiro Agnew in 1973.

Is Our Future Leadership Our Past Contenders, And “Old” Leaders (Those Over 70 In 2020)?

At a time when many observers would say we need to look to a new generation of leadership for America. instead the potential for our past contenders or “old’ leaders to end up competing for the Presidency in 2020 is very clear.

On the Democratic side, we could have Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (age 79 in 2020); former Vice President Joe Biden (78 in 2020); former 2016 Presidential nominee and First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton (age 73 in 2020); and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (age 71 in 2020) all announcing for President.

Some rumors even put retiring California Governor Jerry Brown (82 in 2020); former 2004 Presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Senator, and former Secretary of State John Kerry (77 in 2020); and former 2000 Presidential nominee and former Vice President Al Gore (72 in 2020) also in the mix.

On the Republican side, we could have President Donald Trump (74 in 2020) and former 2012 Presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor, and future likely Utah Senator Mitt Romney (73 in 2020), announcing for President.

The question that arises is whether the voting population would be turned off to “Baby Boomers” and some born even before 1946, with Sanders, Biden, Brown and Kerry born between 1938 and 1943, being the competitors who make it to the final stage of the election campaign.

It is certainly likely that at least some of this above list is in the mix, but the likelihood still is that a Senator or Governor of a younger generation will be, at least, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2020, and a slight chance that such would be the case in the Republican Party.

The Growing Danger Of 2018 And 2020 Elections Being Hacked By Russians And Others With Technological Expertise

It is now clear as the New Year of 2018 begins that America is endangered by the strong likelihood that the midterm Congressional Elections of 2018 and the Presidential Election of 2020 could be subjected to the kind of illegal activities clearly engaged in by Russians, who helped to fix the election results in many states in 2016.

It seems, based on public opinion polls, that the Democrats are heavily favored to gain control of the House of Representatives in 2018, and have a good chance to gain the two seats needed to have control of the US Senate as well.

Also, in many states, the Democrats, at this point, are favored to gain control of Governorships and state legislatures in 2018, an important step toward having an edge in reapportionment of seats in the state legislatures, and in the House of Representatives, after the National Census is conducted in April 2020, affecting the political balance in the entire upcoming decade.

It is not even just Russians, but in theory, with technological expertise, hackers from many unfriendly nations, including China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and others, could manipulate and undermine our American democracy.

Our best technological experts have a massive job ahead of them, and it is clear that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are not actively involved in insuring fair elections for either 2018 or 2020, and that Trump will do anything to regain power for another four years, if somehow, he is able to overcome the charges mounting against him.

Trump has no ethics, morals, or scruples, and his party has been willing to go along with him, with only a few rare exceptions of members in both houses of Congress willing to defy him in his lust for absolute power, and the breakdown of the whole American democratic system.

The Never Ending Nightmare Of Donald Trump, Who Has Disgraced, Undermined, Tarnished, Stained, And Harmed The Reputation Of The Presidency!

As we see the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, it is clear that it is a never ending nightmare visited on the American people.

Donald Trump has disgraced the office of the Presidency.

Donald Trump has undermined trust and faith in the law, the Constitution, and American democracy, and demonstrated lack of respect for freedom of the press.

Donald Trump has tarnished the reputation of America as the leader of the world.

Donald Trump has stained the concept of decency, dignity, and concern of the leader of the nation for those less fortunate, or facing historic discrimination.

Donald Trump has harmed the reputation of the Presidency as an office which promotes basic moral and ethical values.

Donald Trump has affected the relationships between men and women, boys and girls, in a deleterious manner, which will harm the nation long term.

Donald Trump has manufactured and promoted more lies than any American politician in American history, and undermines the ability of Americans to respect the office and the person who holds that position.

Donald Trump has damaged America long term in just one year, as with the long term effects of his lower court appointments, and his selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, who seems short term to be further to the right politically than Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and maybe even the man he replaced, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Donald Trump has left a legacy of environmental damage that will not be easily reversed, and of harm to labor and consumers that will set back the dwindling middle class and the working class for decades.

Donald Trump has also given us the worst set of cabinet members ever, far worse already than Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, or Ulysses S. Grant.

Donald Trump has left already an indelible mark on America, and is on the way to the worst four year term in history, bar none, and with the danger of two wars being started, if he lasts into the end of the second year–against North Korea and Iran.

We should all hope that Donald Trump is forced out of office soon, although the prospect of President Mike Pence is a ghastly thought at this point.

What the Russians did has succeeded, destroying our presidential election, and giving us horrifying alternatives in Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, when clearly, Hillary Clinton won an election that was stolen from her!

The Battle To Succeed Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State: Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham

It is clear that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not survive beyond the first month or two of 2018.

Tillerson has been the absolute worst Secretary of State in modern times, and maybe all time, totally unqualified, totally inexperienced, totally incompetent in defending the State Department and its diplomatic corps against attempts of Donald Trump to destroy our foreign policy, in the name of supporting Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The fact that Tillerson was the head of Exxon, and received an award from Putin in 2015, does not help promote confidence in his leadership.

But at the same time, Tillerson has clearly opposed Trump on many issues, and even said he was a “F—– Moron”, although refusing to give credibility to that press report.

Tillerson has tried, in his own inefficient manner, to stop the destructive tendencies and rhetoric of his boss, often contradicting Trump, and working to prevent conflict and turmoil as much as he can, including promoting diplomacy with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

The question is who should replace him, and right now, it seems as if CIA head Mike Pompeo, previously a Republican Congressman from Kansas, is the front runner, but Pompeo has a very hard line view on many issues, which makes him far from desirable.

Also, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley may have a chance to get the job, but she has just lost credibility by her threats to UN members over their vote against US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, by showing loyalty to Donald Trump, she may have advanced her case to become the top diplomat, and one can hope that her action at the UN was more political than anything else, and that she would provide a comparatively more stable course in American diplomacy, and that Donald Trump might listen to her more than he does to Rex Tillerson.

Then, there are the wild cards of Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has recently been highly critical of Trump, and who Trump has regularly denounced; and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a good friend of Arizona Senator John McCain, who has played golf a lot with Trump lately, and has curbed his criticism of Trump dramatically, as has Bob Corker, who has been backtracking in an amazing reversal this past few days.

Both Corker and Graham now seem totally unprincipled, but it could be a tactic to try and change Donald Trump’s view of the world, much like it might be the strategy of Nikki Haley.

In the new month or two, we shall see what transpires, and as always, coverage of Donald Trump is never boring!

Fox News Channel Promoting False Concept Of “Coup” Against Donald Trump By Robert Mueller, When The Threat Is Of Trump Grabbing Absolute Power!

Fox News Channel is engaged in a full scale promotion of the concept of a “coup” being waged against President Donald Trump by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

That right wing propaganda channel, which ignorant, uninformed people think is a news channel, is stirring up hatemongers and congressional Republicans to wage war on Mueller and his investigation of the numerous Trump scandals.

Particularly disgraceful and despicable are Sean Hannity and Judge Jeanine Pirro, both highly trained in sensationalism, hyperbole, and conspiracy theories.

They are enriching themselves in the process of their sycophantic worship of the most dangerous President in American history.

One or both could be swept up in the scandals, as both have links to the White House, and are willing to spread lies on a daily basis.

Only Shepard Smith is gutsy and courageous enough to contradict these sycophants and others at Fox News Channel.

Additionally, there are a large group of principled conservatives who have been critical of and have denounced Donald Trump since before he won the Presidency in a false manner. The list of such conservatives and Republicans is long and distinguished, although it does not include many elected Republicans.

The reality is Hannity and Pirro are promoting the concept of a coup to seize absolute power, and suspend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and promote the closing down of a free media, and a judiciary that defends the rule of law. They are supportive of a maniacal, unstable President who admires the authoritarianism of Vladimir Putin, who clearly has a hold over him, and helped him to win the Presidential Election of 2016 in an unethical and illegal manner.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned us of the threat of the firing of Robert Mueller, and if that occurs, the people must go out into the streets of every American city in large numbers to protest and resist such unconstitutional grabbing of power by the 45th President.

Two Women Politicians Who Have Lost Esteem Recently: Kirsten Gillibrand And Nikki Haley, Both Potential Presidential Candidates In Future

Two women politicians—Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Republican Governor of South Carolina—have both been in the news this year, but both, in different ways, have done harm to their reputations by recent actions.

Gillibrand, hailed for working on the subject of sexual harassment in the military and on college campuses, recently became the leader of a group of women Senators of her party going after fellow Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota for incidents of sexual harassment. Originally this blogger, being shocked by instances of Franken acting inappropriately, saw Gillibrand become engaged in what seems as bullyism, pressuring Franken to resign rather than face a Senate Ethics Committee hearing, getting his “day in court”, and seeing if the charges are legitimate, and serious enough to force him out of the Senate. Franken caved in, and will leave, and just gave his farewell address in the Senate. It seems very unfair and a mistake in political judgment by Gillibrand and others against a fellow Senator with an excellent record of public service, including forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself in the Russian collusion scandal, a major factor in the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Franken deserved a chance to defend himself, but now that is gone.

Nikki Haley has had an admirable record as South Carolina Governor and now, UN Ambassador, and this blogger thought she was the best person in the Trump Administration by far. But now, suddenly, she has become a bully at the United Nations, demanding loyalty on the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, which did not convince any major country to support the United States on this non binding resolution. She embarrassed herself and the American people, by claiming she was going to “take names”, and that foreign assistance to various nations might be affected, forgetting that our foreign aid to other nations benefits us, as well as those nations. And now she is holding a party for the small number of insignificant nations who supported us, a laughable and ridiculous action.

So this blogger would say that while Kirsten Gillibrand and Nikki Haley once had stars that shone brightly, now both women have lost a great amount of credibility, and future Presidential yearnings have been heavily damaged by their recent actions.