US Senate

Long Out Of Office Republican Presidential Contenders, Or Never In Office: A Record Number In History!

It is not totally uncommon for politicians who have left office to run for President years later.

Abraham Lincoln had not been in public office for 12 years, after serving one term in the House of Representatives, when he ran for and won the Presidency in 1860.

Richard Nixon had not been in public office for 8 years, although he ran for California Governor two years after leaving the Vice Presidency in 1960, and won the Presidency in 1968.

Ronald Reagan had not been in public office for 6 years, although he ran unsuccessfully for the Presidential nomination of his party two years after leaving the Governorship, and won the Presidency in 1980.

But now, in 2015, we have a whole slew of candidates out of public office for a long time.

Jeb Bush left the Florida Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office.

Rick Santorum lost his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2012.

Mike Huckabee left the Arkansas Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008.

George Pataki left the New York Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office.

Jim Gilmore left the Virginia Governorship in 2001, so it will be 15 years since he held office, although he ran briefly for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008, and lost an attempt at a Senate race in 2008, as well.

Bob Ehrlich left the Maryland Governorship in 2006, so it will be ten years since he held office, although he ran for reelection in 2006 and lost, and tried again for the Governorship in 2010 and lost both times to Martin O’Malley.

This is a record number of candidates who have been out of office for so long, 10-15 years in duration.

Also, three candidates have NEVER held public office–Carly Fiorina, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Donald Trump.

So NINE potential candidates out of what are now a potential 18-19 in total have long ago left office, or never held office!

Republican Infighting On Who To Blame For ISIL (ISIS): Rand Paul Vs. John McCain And Lindsey Graham! It Only Helps The Democrats In 2016!

The Republican Presidential race is getting ever more heated and divisive, as the fight over who is to blame for the rise of ISIL (ISIS) rages.

The standard argument of many Republicans is that Barack Obama is responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS). And some blame Hillary Clinton since she was Obama’s Secretary of State in his first term.

At the same time, Democrats say it is George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who are responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS).

But now, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who could be described as a “dove” in foreign policy, blames neither Obama nor Bush and company.

Rather, he blames fellow Republican Senators and Super “hawks” John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham (a soon to be announced opponent for the Republican Presidential nomination) for the rise of ISIL (ISIS)!

And, to top it off, the Wall Street Journal says it is Rand Paul who is responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS), as he is an “isolationist”!

So civil war is breaking out in the Republican Party over the Middle East and military intervention.

It is clear that IF somehow, highly unlikely, Rand Paul were to win the GOP nomination, the neoconservatives who took us into Iraq in 2003 would refuse to support him, all to the good for Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic nominee for President in 2016.

But if somehow, even less likely, Lindsey Graham were to win the nomination, he would face an equally divided party, and would have even less chance of defeating any Democrat for the White House!

Bernie Sanders Reminds Many Of Robert Kennedy And Eugene McCarthy In 1968

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced his candidacy yesterday in Burlington, Vermont, in a more formal way than his original announcement several weeks ago.

It was an exciting event, with about 5,000 people showing up in the city that Sanders once governed as Mayor in the 1980s.

Sanders was inspiring in his rhetoric, and reminded many of the candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy in 1968, tragically ending in the assassination of RFK in June, 1968.

RFK and McCarthy gave people hope in so many ways, just as Sanders does that today, in a much more complex time, when we have billionaires dictating much of the agenda; when we are engaged in foreign turmoil in many ways worse than even the Vietnam War, as the threat to the homeland is real; and when there is cynicism similar to that in 1968.

Bernie Sanders is highly unlikely to have any real opportunity to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016, but he can push Hillary Clinton to the left in ways that will benefit her and the nation, and help to lead to Democratic control of the Presidency and the US Senate, and gains in the House of Representatives.

Bernie Sanders can be the conscience of the nation, appealing to our better side and instincts, something sorely needed in a time of many people no longer motivated to get involved in politics. It is likely that he will have many people, who never had an interest in government, suddenly be galvanized into action, which is all to the good for the nation and its future!

Climate Change Seen As Essential Issue By Military, Intelligence, And Security! So Climate Change Deniers Must Be Confronted And Defeated!

There is more growing evidence of a dangerous trend on climate change, with 14 of the last 15 years the warmest on record; with the melting of the icebergs in the Arctic; and the growing flooding issue affecting the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Additionally, there are tons of evidence of climate change worldwide in all kinds of ways.

And yet the climate change deniers, led by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and others in Congress, claim that there is absolutely no evidence, and that nothing needs to be done.

President Barack Obama has attempted to draw attention to this crucial issue, with little success.

And yet, we have military leaders; we have those in the intelligence community; and we have those involved in our national security apparatus, who are only too aware of the realities and challenges of climate change, with the naval base in Virginia, Norfolk Naval Station, one clear example of many of the future dangers to our national security.

So these communities—military, intelligence, security—must continue to lead the fight as this “ostrich in the sand” mentality will undermine the future of America, if we continue to allow these deniers the power and influence that they possess!

Former Senator Russ Feingold, In LaFollette Progressive Tradition, Attempting Return To Senate In 2016 Election!

Wisconsin, the home of LaFollette progressivism a century ago, and the home of many progressive leaders since “Fighting Bob” LaFollette became the most prominent progressive in America, has had difficult times recently with the election of Scott Walker as Governor and Ron Johnson as Senator, defeating Senator Russ Feingold, one of the finest public servants ever to grace Wisconsin government and the US Senate, in the 2010 midterm elections.

Between Congressman Paul Ryan being the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012 and being elevated to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman in 2015; and Governor Walker hoping to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016; along with the backward, regressive record of Senator Johnson, Wisconsin has been dealt a terrible hand, and it is time to move to return Wisconsin to its proud progressive tradition!

That can be accomplished by working to prevent Scott Walker from being the GOP Presidential nominee, and by bringing Russ Feingold back to the US Senate, kicking Ron Johnson out!

There is great hope for change, now that Feingold has decided to attempt a return to his Senate seat, which he honored with an outstanding record from 1993-2011!

Feingold can be part of the mission of the Democrats to return to control of the US Senate in the 2016 Congressional elections. He has been one of the most outstanding members of the US Senate in the past two decades, and his defeat was a major blow that helped to undermine any chance of Wisconsin continuing its traditional role as a state which led the nation in so many ways!

The First Woman President Could Be Elizabeth Warren, Not Hillary Clinton, If Warren Were To Enter The Presidential Race!

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wowed the California State Democratic Convention this past weekend, and it almost seemed as if she was running for President, despite her denials.

Warren came out fighting mad about the outrageous utterances and actions of many of the Republican candidates or potential candidates, and one had to wonder how any sane person could possibly think of voting for any of them.

But there is a cynicism about Hillary Clinton, a disillusionment that she has sold out to Wall Street and the corporations; that she is not passionate and committed in the way that Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have demonstrated; that she is too hawkish in foreign policy based on her Senate record; and that her husband Bill Clinton reminds us of the 1990s, and that Hillary seems old and stale and does not enthuse voters.

Hillary is seen as representing the past, while Warren, despite being only two years younger, represents the new and the future.

Warren is exciting and dynamic, while Hillary is unexciting and stale, and that is a major problem for the Democratic Party.

If the Democrats lose the White House, the Supreme Court will be lost for the next generation, and the nation will be set back a few generations by a reactionary President.

The nation call ill afford being concerned about Hillary Clinton’s ambitions to be the first woman President, when we can have the first woman President in Elizabeth Warren!

It seems clear that Elizabeth Warren can excite the masses of Americans who want to believe in a future of progressive reform, and she can add on to the accomplishments of Barack Obama, and arouse the public to get out there and vote, in a way that will not happen with Hillary Clinton!

It is time for Elizabeth Warren to declare for the Presidency, as she can bring a future of brightness and change so desperately needed, and millions will wish to work for her election.

So, Elizabeth Warren, run, run, run!

Hate Mongering Republican Presidential Candidates Who Would Disgrace The Office Of The Presidency!

There are anywhere from 15 to nearly 20 potential Republican Presidential candidates, and one can find faults and shortcomings with most of them, but there are only a few who can be labeled, by their utterances, to be hate mongers, wishing to stir up fear and incite audiences with their rhetoric. One is held accountable for what one says and what he promotes, and therefore, disqualify themselves for the honor of residing in the White House!

Those who would qualify for this dubious “honor” include:

Dr. Benjamin Carson
Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

All of these five have been reckless in their desire to divide the American people, and have advocated lawlessness and disobedience of the federal government, including the court system and the Supreme Court in particular.

They have promoted hate and fear of gays and lesbians; immigration; women’s rights; racial justice; and have shown no concern about the poor and the sick, particularly on the issue of health care.

Interestingly, all five constantly invoke Christianity in their political pitches, and specifically, hard line Christianity of the evangelical and right wing Catholic variety, a total repudiation of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and a defiance of the principle of separation of church and state under our political system! And they all criticize Pope Francis and his liberal, open minded view of the meaning of Jesus Christ and his teachings!

Any of these five would totally disgrace the office of the Presidency!

Fortunately, it is highly unlikely that any of these five will win the nomination of the Republican Party, but if so, the odds of such an individual winning the Presidency are very low!

Jeb Bush A Return To George W. Bush In Foreign Policy

It is quite clear that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, despite his statement at the end of this week that he would not have gone into Iraq had he known the results of this foreign policy disaster, would be very likely to follow the same Neoconservative foreign policy of George W. Bush if he won the Presidency.

Jeb Bush has the same foreign policy hawks behind him who were behind George W. Bush, people such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, and Dick Cheney. Some may be close to other GOP candidates, such as Ted Cruz for the moment, but be assured that if Jeb Bush wins the nomination, they will come rushing to unite around Jeb.

Considering that Jeb seemed to repudiate his brother’s Iraq War policy in a hesitant way, and yet no denunciation from the ultimate hawk, Dick Cheney, tells the truth of the situation—that Jeb would be a repeat of George W. Bush in foreign policy, without any doubts or scruples.

Therefore, despite some signs of moderation on domestic affairs, and more reasonable rhetoric than many other GOP Presidential possibilities, Jeb Bush would take us back to the disastrous past, and must be prevented from being the Republican Presidential nominee, or the President of the United States in 2017!

Seymour Hersh Unsubstantiated Article Tries To Take Away Obama Accomplishment Of Killing Osama bin Laden In 2011

Seymour Hersh, the legendary investigative journalist known for scooping many stories over a long career, has revealed in an article what he says proves that Barack Obama lied about the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

Hersh, using one unsubstantiated source, claims that the story of how Osama was killed is false, and that Pakistan knew about the operation, and was in on the entire event, in ways that have been earlier denied by the Pentagon and the White House.

It is not an issue of whether Osama was killed, but how the operation came about. If it was true, which it most certainly is not, it would mean a vast number of people, both political and military, were engaged in a coverup, only adding to conspiracy theories that abound all of the time.

But even responsible Republicans in Congress, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, the rival of the President in the 2008 Presidential election, and a major critic since, has deplored the unsubstantiated story, and said that the government explanation is correct, and that Obama deserves full credit for the successful action.

It is amazing how Obama cannot have credit for anything without accusations that have no basis, but it is good that McCain and other responsible Republicans have backed the President.

Of course, that does NOT mean that the Right Wing lunatics will not claim the story to be true, and assuredly, some of the GOP Presidential candidates will claim the Seymour Hersh story is true. This is based on the total lack of credibility and responsibility of these demagogues who will do anything to manipulate the evangelical Right in the Iowa Caucuses that begin the Presidential campaign next January!

The Road Ahead For Marco Rubio: Many Barriers To The Republican Presidential Nomination In 2016

When one examines the field of candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Florida Senator Marco Rubio seems, clearly, to be one of the top candidates.

Rubio has many positives, including:

Young, handsome, charismatic

From the ultimate “Swing” state, with the third highest number of electoral votes

An Hispanic (Cuban American)

Representative of a “new generation”

A “fresh face”

Seen by many as the Republican Barack Obama, but also seen as the Republican equivalent of a Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy in age and charisma

A person with a substantial state government legislative experience, including being Florida House Speaker

But, Rubio also has many negatives, including:

He has to compete against fellow Floridian, former Governor Jeb Bush, his mentor

The Cuban American members of Congress from Florida (Lincoln Diaz Balart and Ileane Ros Lehtinen) support Bush over their fellow Cuban American

Rubio’s support of comprehensive immigration reform, alienating many conservatives, but then backing away from it, alienating other groups, including Latinos who are not Cuban American

Rubio’s being seen as too close to former Miami Congressman David Rivera, who has been seen as involved in corrupt, questionable activities

Rubio being questioned about spending habits while Florida House Speaker, regarding expenditures paid by the state party that were personal expenditures

Rubio being too close to billionaires including Miami’s Norman Braman, and Nevada gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, and being often in financial difficulties in which Braman has helped him with financial support

Rubio being seen as a Tea Party leader, but trying to separate himself from the extremists of the movement

Rubio seen as not fully understanding foreign policy, where he often seems ignorant of facts and favoring false realities

Rubio seen as not aggressive enough, as compared to rivals, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckebee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal