US Senate

Crucial Senate Races On Road To Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

The US Senate will be a major battleground this coming November.

Ten “Red State” Democrats face the challenge of winning their seats, with a few of them the most endangered.

If the Senate is to go Democratic, all ten seats must be won by their Democratic veterans, but that is a tall order, and is tied to the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The most endangered regarding that issue are West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

Also possibly in trouble on that issue is Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

These four Senators are seen as moderate, rather than liberal Democrats, and all of them except McCaskill, voted for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch last year.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Montana Senator Jon Tester all seem safer in their Senate races as of now, but that could change.

The most endangered incumbent, with or without the Kavanaugh vote, is Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who has Governor Rick Scott as his opponent, and with Scott having triple the amount of funds that Nelson has been able to garner. Scott is horrific, but he won two close races for Governor in 2010 and 2014, using his own wealth.

Now there is a new threat, that New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich might have more trouble being reelected, as former Governor and Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has just entered the race as an Independent, and in a three way race, anything is possible.

The problem is that even if all of these 11 Senators are successfully reelected, the Democrats still must win two more seats, with Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas as possibilities in that order.

If the Democrats are able to win 51 seats in 2018, it would have to be considered a true miracle!

Four Potential African American Presidential Candidates: Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Deval Patrick, Eric Holder

As we start to look ahead to the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination battle, there is the possibility of up to four African Americans running for the Presidency.

Almost certainly running are New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris (whose mother is Tamil Indian and father who is from the nation of Jamaica in the Caribbean, so she is mixed race).

Also likely to run is former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and former Attorney General Eric Holder, both close friends of President Barack Obama.

At first thought, the chances of Kamala Harris seem the best, followed by Booker, with lesser chance for Patrick, and even lower chance for Holder.

A likely possibility is that either Harris or Booker might end up as the Vice Presidential nominee at the least.

With a race of maybe 20-25 Democrats announcing, an all time record if that happens, it is very hard this far ahead to project the scenario for what might happen in the winter and spring of 2020, but it is now only 18 months until we are in the heat of the Presidential nominating contest.

Two Republican Presidents’ Last Speeches: Eisenhower On Military Industrial Complex; Reagan On Welcoming Immigrants From All Nations

In 1961 and 1989, two Republican Presidents, acknowledged as the greatest Presidents of their party after Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, gave their last speeches as President.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his Farewell Address on January 17, 1961, warned of the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex” having too much power, and endangering American democracy by taking America into “adventurism” in foreign policy.

We did not listen to that warning, as we engaged in war in Vietnam and later in Iraq, both failed wars, causing mass loss of life in those nations, as well as among American military personnel, and with no long range benefit to the United States or the world.

in 1989, on January 19, 1989, his last full day as President, Ronald Reagan spoke at a ceremony awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and to former Montana Democratic Senator Mike Mansfield, who had served as Reagan’s Ambassador to Japan.

Reagan spoke of “Lady Liberty”, the Statue of Liberty, and the fact that one can go to any other nation, and is still seen as a foreigner, but anyone who comes to America from any nation of the world can be greeted and accepted as an American, who can contribute to America’s advancement. He also spoke of the undocumented immigrants who walk long distances just to have a chance, an opportunity, to earn a living and support their families, and how they contribute their labors at great sacrifice, to the betterment of America.

Reagan said that America draws its “strength from every nation of the world and every corner of the world”, and “if we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.” Reagan also said: “It is bold men and women, yearning for freedom and opportunity, who leave their homelands and come to a new country to start their lives over”.

These two Republican Presidents set a higher standard for America internally and in the world, and instead, now we have a President who wants to start a “Space Force”, which is designed to create an American military dominance and monopoly in space, insuring a future world war by crazy militarists who want to force America on the world, rather than welcome people from foreign shores to America to enrich and strengthen American democracy.

We are at a crossroads, and it is time for mass marches and storming of the White House to demand the resignation of Donald Trump, and if Mike Pence wishes to pursue crazy ideas as Trump does, and right now is mouthing such sick ideas in his own public utterances, then Pence needs to resign in disgrace as well!

Eve Of Richard Nixon Resignation From Presidency 44 Years Ago, And Sense Trump Is On Road To Similar End

We are on the eve of the 44 year anniversary of the resignation of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, who faced the reality that he had been impeached by the House Judiciary Committee, by a bipartisan vote.

Nixon had also been ordered by the Supreme Court, which included four Justices selected by him, to hand over the Watergate “smoking” tapes, which demonstrated his guilt.

It was certain that the US Senate would move to convict him on impeachment charges, had he chosen to fight, but Republican Senators, headed by Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and leading House members, had gone to the White House to inform Nixon that he did not have the support to survive an impeachment trial vote of two thirds of the Senate and more, convicting him, and removing him from office.

It was tomorrow, August 8, 1974, that Nixon went on television, and announced he would resign at noon the next day, August 9, and Vice President Gerald Ford would succeed him in the Oval Office.

As we come up to this anniversary, there is a growing sense that Donald Trump is on the road to a similar end.

No one believed Richard Nixon would resign, but he did, and few are willing to believe that Donald Trump will resign, but it looks more and more likely.

Trump is indicting himself on Twitter, and his involvement in Obstruction of Justice seems clear, along with other violations.

And his family members are in trouble too, particularly Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner.

The Robert Mueller investigation is moving fast forward, and it seems, at least to this author and blogger, to be inevitable that Vice President Mike Pence will be President by the end of the year.

We shall see how accurate this author and blogger is, so stay tuned!

11 Democrats, Non-Southerners, Who Became Republicans Over The Past Half Century

It is a well known phenomenon that a massive number of Southern Democratic politicians switched to the Republican Party in the years and decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But it would be instructive to trace those Democrats, in their younger days, who were not Southerners, who made the switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Following is a list of the more prominent such examples, numbering eleven.

In the early 1960s, actor Ronald Reagan, who had been a liberal Democrat and union leader in his younger days, became a Republican, influenced by his wife Nancy’s father, and soon was recruited by Southern California businessmen to run for Governor, and that was the beginning of an amazing transformation in views.

Donald Trump originally was a Democrat, and contributed to New York City and State Democrats, became an Independent, then went back to the Democrats, and finally allied himself with the Republican Party in 2011 and after.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, started off as a Democrat, and worked for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, and voted for the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator George McGovern, before becoming an Independent, and then a Republican.

Elizabeth Dole was a Democrat who worked for Lyndon B. Johnson, but later became a Republican in 1975, married Senator Bob Dole, and was a cabinet member twice, sought the Presidential nomination herself, and then was a Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009 as a Republican.

Vice President Mike Pence left the Democratic Party in the early 1980s, after having supported Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential election, and ran for the House of Representatives and Governorship of Indiana as a Republican.

Condoleezza Rice, left the Democratic party in 1982, and became the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush.

Ben (Nighthorse) Campbell left the Democratic Party in 1995, while a US Senator from Colorado, and became a Republican.

Susana Martinez left the Democratic Party in 1995, and later served as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican.

Norm Coleman left the Democratic Party in 1996, while serving as Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and later was a Senator from Minnesota for one term as a Republican.

Herman Badillo, former Bronx, New York Congressman, left the Democrats in 1996, and identified with the Republican Party.

Michael Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2001 before running for Mayor of New York City as a Republican, just as Rudy Giuliani had done before him.

The Complete Destruction Of The Reputation Of Rudy Giuliani Before Our Eyes

Rudy Giuliani once had a career one could admire.

Rudy Giuliani began as a Democrat, became an Independent, and then a Republican politically.

He became noted as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York during the 1980s, prosecuting significant cases against Organized Crime , and against corrupt corporate financiers.

Giuliani served as New York City Mayor from 1994-2002, and the quality of life improved, and the rate of violent crime went down dramatically.

Giuliani was Mayor at the time of September 11, and was hailed for his reaction and performance in that tragic moment, and was honored as Time Magazine Man of the Year, and given an honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

After first entering the Senate race of 2000 in New York against Hillary Clinton, he withdrew after a prostate cancer diagnosis, but recovered from that. He became engaged in a business career, but was for awhile the front runner in polls for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, perceived as a liberal in that race, but then faltered. He also considered running for Governor of New York in 2010 and for President in 2012, but chose to do neither.

Giuliani became an informal cyber security adviser to Donald Trump in 2017, after many decades of knowing and associating with him, and became part of his legal team involving the investigation of Trump for Russian collusion and obstruction of justice in April 2018.

Despite an impressive career in many ways, Giuliani has, in the eyes of many observers, totally destroyed his credibility and his reputation, and has become noted as a person who many think has had mental deterioration, based on his public statements and activities.

He has become a massive liar and manipulator, similar to those characteristics in Donald Trump.

He has disgusted many people who once admired him, and his private life of now three failed marriages, including a very public and messy second divorce while he was Mayor of New York, has caused many people to dismiss his earlier achievements.

When Rudy Giuliani says something, it is soon shown to be pure propaganda and working to confuse the situation surrounding Donald Trump.

So we are witnessing the complete destruction of Rudy Giuliani’s reputation before our eyes.

A few generally unknown and surprising facts about Giuliani:

When he was a Democrat in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Giuliani volunteered for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, was a Democratic commiteeman on Long Island in the early 1970s, and supported Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern in 1972.

Giuliani’s father served time in Sing Sing Prison for felony assault and robbery, and was an organizer for the mob in Brooklyn, all this after having trouble holding a steady job.

Also, Giuliani considered a career in the priesthood, laughable, when one considers his love life since his youth.

Also, Giuliani was blamed by some for the tragedy of September 11, for having decided to locate the Office of Emergency Management in the World Trade Center, undermining coordination between police and fire forces, and causing lack of preparedness of first responders at the time of the attack. And many observers feel that Giuliani built up his reputation as a “hero” on false pretenses.

In any case, Rudy Giuliani remains highly controversial in 2018 as he has been all of his public life.

Possible Democratic Gains In US Senate In Midterm Elections Of 2018

The Democrats have a massive challenge ahead, somehow to reelect all ten “Red State” Democratic Senators, but also, at the same time, to gain at least two additional seats and have a majority of 51 or more in the US Senate.

This is crucial to stop the worst of Trump Administration policies, and to insure that any future Supreme Court or Circuit or District Court judgeships not be as extreme right wing, as are occurring now.

Six seats seem open to switching to the Democrats:

Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and where Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is ahead of three potential Republican opponents.

Nevada, where Dean Heller is the most endangered Republican Senator up for reelection, challenged by Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, and she has been ahead of Heller in many public opinion polls.

Tennessee, where Bob Corker is retiring, and former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen is seen as ahead of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

Texas, where Ted Cruz is gaining a serious challenge from Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and O’Rourke has raised more money than Cruz, who famously is disliked by all his fellow Senators by the testimony of many Democrats and even Republican colleagues.

Mississippi, where Thad Cochran retired suddenly due to bad health, and will have a special election to fill the seat, temporarily filled, and the hope that an upset is possible, as occurred in Alabama last fall, with Doug Jones taking a normal Republican seat. Mike Espy, former Congressman, Secretary of Agriculture for two years under Bill Clinton, and an African American, is seen as having some chance to take the seat, although not seen as likely to win, but a surprise could occur.

Mississippi, where Roger Wicker faces a challenge from state legislator David Baria, Minority Leader of the state legislature, who is seen as having a reasonable chance to win.

The first three of these six seats seem likely to go to the Democrats, which if true, would allow the loss of one of the ten “Red State” Democrats, and still have 51 seats, but that does not leave much room for error.

If all six seats, magically, went Democratic, and no loss of any of the “Red State” Democrats in November occurred, in theory, the Democrats could have as many as 55 seats, but that is clearly a result with very low potential to occur.

One more issue: New Mexico, where Democrat Martin Heinrich should have no trouble winning, but if former Republican Governor and 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson decides to run for the Senate, creating a three way race, it could put Heinrich’s seat in jeopardy.

So the challenge for Democrats to gain a Senate majority of 51 votes is clouded by overwhelming challenges!

Crucial Gubernatorial Races That Could Affect The Future In Reapportionment Of Seats In Congress And State Legislatures After 2020 Census

There are a number of crucial gubernatorial races coming up in November, which could dramatically change the future of American politics, and change the reapportionment of seats that comes about after the Census of 2020.

In Florida, Gwen Graham, the daughter of well respected former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, is now leading the Democratic primary in the polls, and she could affect the beginning of the return of Democrats to influence in the state legislature and in Congress, and is far preferable to Congressman Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, the Democrats have nominated Stacey Abrams, who has been the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, and is African American, against Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who is extreme on gun rights.

In Ohio, Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and past Attorney General and State Treasurer, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, and is challenged by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, former US Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Congressman.

In Illinois, the Democratic nominee for Governor is J B Pritzker, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, competing against incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who has had a contentious relationship with the Democratic controlled state legislature.

In California, Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against Republican John Cox, a businessman, attorney and political activist backed by Donald Trump.

In Pennsylvania, sitting Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is heavily favored to win reelection, over Republican nominee and state representative Scott Wagner.

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is challenged by former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, with Abbott strongly favored to be reelected, but thought that she would be a strong challenge to Abbott.

These seven large states in population could see six out of seven victories for the Democrats, all but Texas, in all likelihood.

With Democrats having only 16 state Governors, but 36 gubernatorial elections coming up, the odds of a majority or more of state governors being Democrats in 2019 is considered a likelihood, and would allow the Democrats to have a great influence on reapportionment and gerrymandering in the next decade.

The “Red State” Democratic Senators, The Midterm Elections, And Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Ten “Red State” Democratic Senators face a moment of great challenge in November 2018.

Running for reelection in states that went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, they face the danger of defeat in their Senate races if they do not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, with a final vote expected in October.

Voting for Kavanaugh will insure the likelihood of a conservative majority on the Court for the next 20-30 years, which will affect many areas of domestic and foreign policy, and the powers of the Presidency.

But voting against Kavanaugh may retire many of them, and insure a Republican gain of seats in the US Senate, from 51 to quite a few more, allowing the Republicans to dominate into the future.

So what should these Senators do? Should they be profiles in courage and risk their seats to delay or prevent a conservative Supreme Court majority? Or should they vote for Kavanaugh and give themselves another six years to fight against Trump, without the burden of facing the voters until 2024?

It seems likely that at least the three Senators who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana—will end up voting to confirm Kavanaugh if the vote cannot be delayed until after the November mid term elections.

The other seven are seen as unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh—Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, with all seven now, except possibly Nelson, considered likely for a successful reelection to their Senate seats despite a negative vote on Kavanaugh.

New Quinnipiac And Marist Polls And Other Polls Show Sharp Turn Against Donald Trump In Battleground Midwest States

New Quinnipiac and Marist Polls show a sharp turn against Donald Trump in battleground Midwest states, crucial to the Democratic Party’s chances to keep their Senate seats and gain at least two to have a majority, as well as undermine Donald Trump for the 2020 Presidential election. Other polling estimates also show great promise for Democrats at this point.

The polls indicate a 12 point advantage for Democrats in key races for Congress, and the Midwest heartland is particularly showing evidence that Senate seats being defended are in good shape with a bit more than 100 days to the midterm elections on November 6. The House seats look promising too for Democrats to gain a majority, but the problem of Republican gerrymandering after the 2010 midterm elections remains a challenge in many areas of the nation. Governorships are also extremely important with the 2020 census and reapportionment of seats in Congress and the state legislatures on the horizon.

Women have become candidates in much larger numbers than ever before, and young people and minorities, and suburban whites all seem ready to take action to make Congress and President Trump accountable for the reprehensible behavior of the Republican Party in the past 18 months and earlier years.

No one can afford to be lax about voting, as only voting can change things, and yet, there is concerning evidence already that the Russians are again engaged in interference in midterm elections in several states. Just today, it was made clear that Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill had had interference by Russian attempts to undermine her close reelection contest.

We must be vigilant, and it is a crime that Trump and the Republicans in charge of Congress refuse to allocate extra funding to work against Russian interference.

It is also outrageous that Trump is now stating that he thinks there is interference, and that the Russians are trying to work against him and help the Democrats, a totally preposterous concept.