US Senate

Mitch McConnell’s Plans For The 114th Congress: Total Deadlock And Stalemate!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky made it clear at the time of the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009 that his party would refuse to cooperate with the President on any legislation or policy.

Now, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell is pledging that if his party wins the Senate majority, and the House stays Republican, that he will promote massive budget cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency, and attempting again to destroy ObamaCare. He would attach these changes to budget bills, and if Obama vetoed, then we would have another government shutdown, as disastrous as the last one was for the Republican Party and the nation!

This is ever more reason why Democrats, progressives and liberals, and independents MUST come out enmasse on Election Day to prevent a GOP Senate majority, as that will also mean no replacement on the Supreme Court if anyone leaves, which is likely, in 2015 or 2016.

Ironically, this kind of behavior would likely reverberate on the Republicans in 2016, when two thirds of the Senate seats up for election would be their party, but the attitude seems to be one of total warfare and destruction while they have control.

The Republican Party is becoming totally nihilistic and anarchistic, not worthy of the long history of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, And “Payment” For Comedy About The GOP 2008 Vice Presidential Nominee

Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has spent the past six years since her rise to eminence in August 2008 proving that John McCain made a major blunder when he selected the “Know Nothing” half term Governor as his running mate!

Sarah Palin has been a major embarrassment to herself, to her family, to her state, to John McCain, and to the Republican Party that gave her the honor of being their Vice Presidential nominee!

Sarah Palin has made NO positive contributions to public discourse, and instead, has enriched herself with her published works that show no intellectual content, her cable shows, her paid speeches, and working to undermine the Republican Party through her working with the destructive Tea Party elements. She has shown how a person who has no accomplishments can yet become wealthy by exploiting the prejudices, the narrow mindedness, and pure ignorance of millions of the American people, who are very gullible, and do not see that Sarah Palin is a “snake oil salesman!”

Sarah Palin would be forgettable if not for John McCain putting her in the spotlight, and then her stupidity showing through, and undermining his Presidential candidacy in 2008!

This woman has made millions, and yet has the gall now to suggest that Tina Fey, who portrayed her brilliantly on Saturday Night Live, should pay her for the privilege of making comedy of her. Palin suggests that Fey pay for her “children’s braces,” as if Palin cannot afford to pay her own expenses when she has millions of dollars she would never have had if not having become a media sensation!

This statement by Palin shows how much of a lowlife she really is, and how we have never been so unfortunate in our history to have such an ill qualified person who could have been a heartbeat away from the Presidency!

Thank goodness that did not happen, and now, we can just sit there, and shake our heads and roll our eyes that this moronic woman was ever given a chance to come that close to real political power! It is clear there is a God up there protecting us from the harm of a person such as Sarah Palin!

How A Speech Elevated Four Presidential Candidates To Nomination, And Two Of Them To The White House!

The power of oratory in advancing a political candidacy for the Presidency,that no one expected to occur, is part of American history!

There have been four cases of people who were elevated to a Presidential nomination, and two of them to the White House, by the electrifying effect that a speech had on their political party and the nation at large!

Two of these were Democrats, and two were Republicans.

One of the Democrats was former Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan, who delivered the “Cross of Gold” speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention, with this leading to his Presidential nomination. Despite losing to William McKinley, Bryan went on to be the nominee of the Democrats two more times, in 1900 and 1908.

The other was Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, who gave a dynamic speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, arguing against a divided America, and calling for a united America, instead of a “red’ America and a “blue” America. It drew attention to him, and after being elected to the US Senate, he decided to campaign for the Presidency, and overcame many adversities to win two terms in the White House, but sadly saw “red” and “blue” America split ever further apart!

The first Republican was businessman Wendell Willkie, who despite no political experience, stirred the Republican National Convention of 1940 with his speech and charisma, and went on to become the nominee of his party, but losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Ronald Reagan was the other Republican, making a well noticed speech on television in support of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the GOP nominee for President in 1964. Goldwater lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson, but Reagan gained enough support and notice to run for California Governor in 1966, and eventually to be elected to two terms as President in the 1980s!

So the power of speech and charisma has had a great effect on American politics!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Louis Brandeis, And The Future Of The Supreme Court!

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has resisted suggestions that after 21 years on the Supreme Court she should retire, giving President Barack Obama an opportunity to make another appointment to the Court before he leaves office.

Ginsburg is 81 plus, and has survived colon and pancreatic cancer in a miraculous way, and has also lost her husband, but she resists leaving.

Now there seems to be “light at the end of the tunnel”, as Ginsburg has hinted that she wants to match former Associate Justice Louis Brandeis, one of the all time great Justices, who served almost 23 years from 1916 to 1939 and retired at age 82, and that will be accomplished over the next year on age and in early 2016 on service. So it seems as if she might retire in June of 2015 or June of 2016.

This is the explanation for the statement of President Obama, that he expects to make some new Court appointments, and it makes the urgency of the continuation of a Democratic Senate even more a priority for the upcoming midterm Senate elections.

It is now a fact that were Ginsburg to resign tomorrow, it would be impossible to replace her before November, due to the politics of the upcoming elections in two and a half months, so the best we can hope for is that Obama will get to replace the aging Ginsburg in 2015 or 2016, with Democrats still in control.

If not, there is the possibility of a Court with only seven or eight members, if any other Justice dies or retires, from the rapidly aging Court.

Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, And First Term Nominations: All But Monroe, FDR, George W. Bush!

This blogger heard the statement of Ralph Nader, a guest on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” HBO show recently, that if only the Democrats had won the 2004 Presidential Election, the Supreme Court would have been dramatically different than it is today!

Present Secretary of State John Kerry lost to George W. Bush, who became only the third President to have to wait until his second term of office to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court Justice! Bush proceeded to select Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who have together had a dramatic effect on Court decisions in a very right wing manner!

Only James Monroe and Franklin D. Roosevelt failed to have a Supreme Court nominee in their first term, and only William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and Jimmy Carter were unable to make any appointments to the high Court, due to lack of vacancies. Even President James A. Garfield, shot after four months in office, had an appointee to the Supreme Court after two months in office! And FDR may not have had appointments in his first term, but he ended up having a total of nine appointments between 1937 and 1943 over six and a half years!

This is something to keep in mind, the power of the President to affect the Supreme Court’s future, and with the certainty that there will be vacancies on the high Court in the next Presidential term, making the election of a Democrat to the White House, and a Democratic Senate after 2016, ever more urgent!

Intrastate Rivalries For The Republican Presidential Nomination In 2016

The potential exists for four intrastate rivalries for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

First, we have Texas with Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Then, we have Florida with Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush.

Also, there is the rivalry in Wisconsin between Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker.

Finally, in Ohio, we have Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman as potential candidates.

Perry and Kasich have sought the Presidency before, although Kasich did so very minimally in 2000.

The best bet would be Marco Rubio and John Kasich among these competitors, as one assesses these eight political leaders at this time.

The Do Nothing 113th Congress Worse Than 112th Congress, And Far Worse Than Truman’s 80th Congress In 1947-1948!

History tells us that President Harry Truman ran against the Republican controlled 80th Congress in his election campaign of 1948, calling it a “Do Nothing” Congress.

What he meant was that they were passing laws that he considered counterproductive, including the anti labor Taft Hartley Act, which he vetoed, but passed over his veto by a two thirds vote in both houses of Congress.

But in actuality, that 80th Congress passed over 900 laws, and cooperated with Truman on funding for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, and also agreed to creation of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council and the Defense Department.

By comparison, the 112th Congress of 2011-2012 became the least productive Congress in history, passing fewer than 300 laws, but now the 113th Congress has passed fewer than 150 laws, making them half as accomplished as the previous Congress.

There is a total refusal of Republicans to cooperate at all with Barack Obama, and they have had the shortest work calendar of any Congress, including the previous one!

Now they are taking a five week break, despite so many crucial issues to deal with, and their public opinion rating is the lowest it has ever been!

But will the American people, with the reality of gerrymandering ruling the House of Representatives, be able to unite and give the Democrats back control of the House? Not likely, and the US Senate is also dangerously in play!

So two more years of stalemate and gridlock are likely!

Fifty Years Ago, A Lie Led To War: The Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution Under Lyndon B. Johnson

A half century ago, the move toward massive escalation of the war in Vietnam began, with the false, misleading report of the supposed attack on US ships, the Turner Joy and the Maddox, by North Vietnamese patrol boats off the of the Gulf of Tonkin.

Lyndon B. Johnson immediately called for a resolution from Congress, infamously known in history as the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, calling for a bombing attack on North Vietnam and its key cities, the capital of Hanoi and the port city of Haiphong.

The push for quick action led to a 416-0 vote in the House of Representatives, and an 89-2 vote in the US Senate, with Oregon Senator Wayne Morse and Alaska Senator Ernest Gruening, both Democrats, the only negative votes, and with both heavily criticized as “unAmerican” for their skepticism and doubts, and their desire to know much more information before they cast their vote for military action.

This event led to a war which killed 58,000 Americans, and divided the nation like nothing had since the Civil War a century earlier!

It divided the Democratic Party, and caused its defeat in 1968, as the nation repudiated LBJ through the defeat of his loyal Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey.

It led to total disillusionment with American foreign policy, and growing distrust of the Presidency as an institution, something which remains the same way today!

LBJ might be remembered for his great domestic achievements under the appellation of the “Great Society”, but it caused the loss of his stature when he misled the nation on the road to proving his “manhood” by going to war, and it ultimately destroyed the liberal coalition which brought his domestic reforms.

This is a very sobering moment a half century later, what might have been if only LBJ had not gone into a massive war in Vietnam, including maybe a continuation of the “Great Society”, and no Richard Nixon in the White House at all!

Have We Gone From Speaker John Boehner To Speaker Ted Cruz?

The Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives have made life miserable for Speaker of the House John Boehner, blocking actions he has wished to take over the past two years, and now again, they are blocking any action on the immigration crisis of Central American women and children at the US-Mexico border!

Instead, the Tea Party Republicans are stalling any action, on the advice and prodding of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, which is privately infuriating Boehner and mainstream conservatives in the GOP!

So, apparently, for the first time in American history, a lunatic right winger in the Senate, and his name is NOT Joseph McCarthy, is undermining his own party in the lower chamber, while laying waste to doing as much damage as possible to the Senate, and its GOP leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky!

So civil war is occurring, and it is causing disrespect for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and it is hard to imagine the scenario in January 2015, if the GOP keeps the House of Representatives and gains control of the US Senate!

The odds of a Speaker Boehner are dwindling rapidly, and we could end up with a Tea Party Ted Cruz backed Republican as Speaker of the House, so new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California had better pay heed!

A Revolutionary Idea: Two Democratic Women That Could Lead To Massive Democratic Victory In 2016 And Beyond!

The assumption is that Hillary Clinton has the great advantage for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, but there is great concern that she could have opposition on the Left of her party, and needs shoring up of the base on issues such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts represents—attack on Wall Street greed, and advocacy of relief of student loan interest rates, the minimum wage battle, unemployment compensation extension, and other populist issues.

Warren has shown strength in campaigning in “Red” states such as Kentucky and West Virginia, as she supported Alison Lundergan Grimes and Natalie Tennant in their Senate bids.

Warren is a lightning rod who inspires people in states where the masses of the population have suffered under uncaring Republican Governors, Senators and House members, and many people have gravitated to her when they hear her message of speaking for the average American of all backgrounds, somewhat reminiscent of Robert F. Kennedy nearly 40 years ago!

The question is whether Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren could co-exist and work as a team for a national campaign and in an administration after victory.

The question is why not, and while their ages in 2016, 69 for Hillary and 67 for Elizabeth are not the best scenario, it could open up the possibility of one term each for both women in the White House, OR two terms for Hillary with Elizabeth a willing participant in the Vice Presidency.

The two would be a dynamic team, and would inspire women, working class whites, African Americans, Latinos, labor, and progressives, liberals, moderates, and independents in such a manner as to turn “Red’ states “Blue”, leading to a massive victory nationwide and a long term Democratic dominance!

Why cannot America accept two women as their leaders? It is about time to do just that, and it would motivate and inspire the largest voter turnout in American history!

One could project that the so called “swing” states of Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida would all be ‘Blue”, but so, likely, would be Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and some possibility in Texas and Arizona, as well!

That would leave only the Great Plains states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma); the Southern states of South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi; the Mountain States of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah; and Alaska as remaining “Red” states.

It is time to consider the revolutionary change of two women leading our government, two talented women of great competence and brilliance—Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren!