US Senate

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

Is Donald Trump The Third President Without A Party, As Was The Case With John Tyler And Andrew Johnson?

We have had two Presidents who lacked support of a party, and we may now have a third one in Donald Trump.

Two Presidents were elected Vice President as part of a “fusion” team to help elect the Presidential nominee, and then quickly became President upon the death of the President.

John Tyler, a Democrat, ran on the Whig Party line with William Henry Harrison in 1840, and Harrison died of pneumonia 31 days after the inauguration.

Tyler disagreed with the Whig Party principles, and came into conflict with Whig leadership, including Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky and Congressman John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts.

His entire cabinet resigned after a few months, with the exception of Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Tyler had great troubles with confirmation hearings, with four cabinet appointments and four nominees for the Supreme Court rejected by the Whig controlled Senate. The Congress refused to pass funding for fixing of the White House, which was in disrepair, and an attempted impeachment was prevented only by the Whigs losing the House of Representatives in 1842.

So John Tyler was a man without a party.

The same can be said of Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, who was the Vice Presidential nominee with Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1864, with Lincoln concerned about reelection, so choosing a loyal Southern Democrat to shore up support among some Northern Democrats.

When Lincoln was assassinated 45 days after his second inauguration, Johnson became President but clashed quickly with Radical Republicans over Reconstruction policy, and when he vetoed significant legislation, and went out and campaigned against them in midterm congressional elections in 1866, an open split was clear, and Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which prevented the dismissal of any cabinet officer appointed by the President, without majority backing by the majority of both houses of Congress, an unconstitutional action.

Johnson now faced impeachment on flimsy charges, and was found not guilty, but it weakened his ability to govern, and he was unable to gain the filling of a Supreme Court vacancy, and was truly a President without a party.

Now, Donald Trump has alienated many Republicans, who are willing to investigate his Russian ties and possible collusion in the Presidential Election of 2016. He has denounced the Freedom Caucus membership which prevented his health care legislation from passing, and many US Senators, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and others, have been strong critics. Additionally, he has hinted at working with Democrats, even though he has also antagonized them repeatedly with his utterances and policies. His public opinion rating is the lowest for any new President, since the beginning of polling 80 years ago.

The possibility of impeachment is there, as even top Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have found it difficult to work with a President who is constantly tweeting and criticizing, in a very divisive way.

So Donald Trump could end up being the third President without a party, recalling that for a long time, he was sounding years ago like a liberal Democrat!

Jeff Sessions,Tom Price, Nick Mulvaney: Former Members Of Congress Working Against Civil Rights, Health Care, And Common Decency Toward The Poor!

Three former members of Congress have become leading figures in the Trump Administration, as it works against Civil Rights, Health Care, and common decency toward the poor, and one has to wonder how these three men can look in the mirror and feel they are doing what is proper in any society.

Jeff Sessions, former Alabama Senator, is doing everything he can as Attorney General to undermine the rights of all racial minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and transgender Americans, trying to take us back to the way things were in the era before the Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s, and trying to deny the role of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in American society. Jeff Sessions has a hardened look on his face, and anyone can see what a nasty racist, nativist, and misogynist Sessions is.

Tom Price, former Georgia Congressman and a medical doctor, is Secretary of Health and Human Services, and has engaged in corrupt conflicts of interest regarding stock profits given to him by companies that the department must deal with. And now, Price is so eager to knock 24 million Americans off health care completely. What kind of doctor, and basically any human being, would be so hardhearted and cold and distant about the basic life and health of people who are elderly, disabled, poor? The man has such an evil look on his face.

And then we have former South Carolina Congressman Nick Mulvaney, who is head of the Office of Management and Budget, who is out to promote extreme tax cuts to the wealthy by cutting all programs that help the poor to survive just barely, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, as well as health care, education, food stamps, used by poor women and their children, as well as disabled and elderly. Mulvaney sees the poor as a group to exploit and make their miserable lives ever more downtrodden. Mulvaney is Robin Hood in reverse, and is a despicable, uncaring man, who has no conscience.

The thing that unites all three is that they are all “religious”, “good Christians”, in all the hypocrisy of such terminology!

If this is religiosity, to oppose the message of their savior Jesus Christ, who happened to be Jewish, then no wonder so many people are so cynical about religion!

75 Days In Office, Donald Trump Is A True Disaster, A Failure On Many Fronts!

We are three quarters of the way through the first 100 Days of President Donald Trump, and he is a true disaster, a failure on so many fronts.

Trump’s public opinion ratings are the absolute worst since public opinion polling began 80 years ago for a new President.

Some Presidents had lower public opinion ratings than Trump, but it took years in office for Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush to reach such low levels.

Trump has 35 percent approval against 57 percent disapproval in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, and he is lower than Barack Obama ever was.

Among men, he has 39 percent support against 51 percent disapproval.

White voters are 43 percent in favor against 48 percent negative.

Women voters are 31 percent positive against 63 percent negative.

Independent voters are 32 percent for and 57 percent against.

Non white voters are 16 percent in favor and 77 percent negative.

Democrats are 6 percent positive against 91 percent against.

On the other hand, Republicans, living in a parallel universe, are 79 percent in favor and 14 percent against.

On his personal qualities, Trump is majority negative in every area including:

61-34 that Trump is not honest

55-40 that he does not have good leadership skills

57-39 that does not care about average Americans

66-29 that he is not level headed

61-34 that he does not share their values

52 percent are embarrassed that Trump is their President, compared to 27 percent proud

On health care he gets a negative 28-64 rating, negative 61-29 on the environment, 48-41 negative on the economy, 58-35 negative on foreign policy, 49-42 negative on handling terrorism, and 57-39 negative on handling immigration issues.

Meanwhile, Republicans are negative 70-21 for their leadership in Congress, although Democrats are negative 57-34.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is negative 28-52 compared to Nancy Pelosi a negative 30-47 rating

Mitch McConnell is 14-47 negative while Chuck Schumer is negative 25-38.

The situation will not get better, and likely will get worse, as Trump faces foreign policy challenges, particularly North Korea most immediately.

Senate Intelligence Committee (Richard Burr-Mark Warner) Might Be The New Watergate Committee (Sam Ervin-Howard Baker) Of 1973-74

Forty four years ago, in 1973, the US Senate formed a special committee to investigate the burgeoning Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

The committee was headed by a conservative Southern Democrat, Sam Ervin of North Carolina, and the ranking Republican member of the committee was Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, and the committee dedicated itself to the discovery of the truth.

Over the next year and few months, many witnesses were called, and evidence was gathered, which helped to lead to the indictment of 40 Nixon Administration figures and the conviction of several aides to Nixon on charges of obstruction of justice and other crimes.

Ervin and Baker became folk heroes, and John Dean and Alexander Butterfield became the most famous witnesses that, through their testimony, helped to lead to impeachment charges against Richard Nixon, and cause his resignation 15 months after the Watergate Committee began its work.

Nixon was in the early months of his second term, coming off a massive victory against George McGovern in the Presidential Election of 1972.

Now, we are witnessing another committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by another North Carolina Senator, Republican Richard Burr, and assisted by the ranking Democratic member of the committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, beginning an investigation of Donald Trump and his Russian connection, believed to have assisted him in defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. Trump had only a small margin in the proper combination of states to win the Electoral College, but with Hillary Clinton having won the popular vote nationally by 2.85 million votes.

Burr is a conservative Republican, as Ervin was a conservative Democrat more than four decades ago, and Mark Warner is a moderate Democrat as Howard Baker was a moderate Republican back in the 1970s, and all four of these Senators came from the South–North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia–and all four were and are dedicated to finding out the truth about Presidential scandals.

Expect the Senate Intelligence Committee to have a dramatic impact as the Senate Watergate Committee, and it seems likely that Michael Flynn will be the new John Dean, and that others we are not yet aware of will be the new Alexander Butterfield and other significant exposers of the facts that we learned about in 1973.

Trump Drops To 35 Percent In Gallup Poll, With 59 Percent Negative Toward His Presidency

Donald Trump is falling fast in the polls, hitting an all time low for a new President after 70 days, of only 35 percent in the latest Gallup poll.

Trump is striking out at the House Freedom Caucus, threatening primary challengers to the extreme right wing group, not realizing that in their gerrymandered districts, they are likely to beat any primary opponents in 2018.

Trump talks about cooperating with Democrats, but why would they, since he wishes to destroy Obama Care, and has forced an extreme right wing judge, Neil Gorsuch, on them, with the potential for this man who seems to be to the right of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, to be on the Court for the next 30 or more years, as he is only 49.

59 percent in the latest Gallup poll have a negative attitude toward Trump, and his second Muslim Ban has again been held up in the courts.

His Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, has admitted that building a Mexico Wall will be a major challenge due to topography, including the Rio Grande River in Texas.

And the Russian connection is being ratcheted up by the Senate Intelligence Committee headed by Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner.

Finally, there are reports that former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn, is ready to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution so it now seems likely that Donald Trump will NOT finish his term, and that Mike Pence will become President during this term.

War On The Working Class, Which Helped To Elect Donald Trump: A Major Turning Point Against The Republican Future

The Republican Party seemed in an ideal position after the Presidential Election of 2016, as they had control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House.

But having Donald Trump as their President was not the same, as say for instance, John Kasich or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio would have been in the White House.

Donald Trump is a loose cannon, a reckless man who owes no allegiance to anyone, and he is unpredictable and dangerous for the long term future of the Republican Party.

Choosing to pursue health care, by destroying Obama Care completely, now seems a like a gigantic mistake, and even Trump seems ready to abandon the party and Speaker Paul Ryan on this, and move on.

But the image has been left that the GOP has declared war on the working class of America, ready to take away their health care without any concern, as to how it affects the white working class that put him in office, due to small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The Republican Party has decided that single mothers and their children, the elderly, and disabled also do not deserve health care, and their lack of concern about what many consider a basic human right, will reverberate against them and insure a return to the Democratic Party in power.

So many people who were against Obama Care were not against the Affordable Care Act, not realizing it is the same legislation, so it is clear what the Republicans did was promote racism against the “black man”, Barack Obama, who had promoted the law.

Now, however, many white working class people realize their own ignorance, and how it has now come back to bite them, and the racial appeal will no longer work among many of them.

States like Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona and many others, who have benefited from Obama Care, will start to turn against the party which manipulated them, and the GOP will suffer long term.

And if that does not happen, by some pure stupidity of the white working class, then what happens to them is the proper punishment because of their prejudice and narrow mindedness, and with no sympathy to be offered.

Republican Skeptics On Ryan Health Care Plan: John Kasich, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Darrell Issa, And Many Others

The Republican Party has an increasing number of skeptics about the Paul Ryan alternative bill to ObamaCare, which has now been scored on its effect on the budget by the Congressional Budget Office, and it is a total disaster.

All of the following are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, as it is, but warn against the House sponsored plan:

Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Congressman Darrell Issa of California
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado
Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Dean Heller

But also there are the right wing extremists, the Freedom Caucus House Republicans who oppose the Ryan bill, as do the following groups:

Freedom Works
Club For Growth
Heritage Action

And the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Association Of Retired Persons, and many other groups are also totally against the legislation.

So in the midst of control of both Houses and the White House, the Republican Party is in a crisis as to how to appeal to their base, as they work to deny them health care–elderly, sick, disabled, and poor.

Could Republicans Be Running Scared At Reaction Of Trump Voters To Plan To Destroy ObamaCare?

The Republican Party, despite their majorities in both houses of Congress, are discovering that they have alarmed many Trump supporters–white Rust Belt voters–with their plan to destroy ObamaCare and leave millions of people uninsured.

The right wing does not care about health care, and Paul Ryan has come across as too gleeful at the thought of the destruction of the health care system.

This could be the beginning of a revolt which could upend the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, where a gain of 24 seats would make the Democrats the majority.

The Senate is more difficult for the Democrats to gain in 2018, as 25 D seats are up and only 8 R seats.

But the Senate seems much more cautious about destroying ObamaCare without considering the damage done to Trump supporters, who desperately need health care, and suddenly see the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, as something they are not willing to give up for ideological fanaticism of the GOP.

The Health Care battle has just begun, and will reverberate throughout the nation, and Donald Trump is likely to see a massive reaction against him if the Trump voters become victims.

The Perplexity Over Jon Huntsman Accepting Russian Ambassadorship From Donald Trump

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to Singapore and China Jon Huntsman surprised many when he accepted the Ambassadorship to Russia offered yesterday by President Donald Trump.

Huntsman was the best Republican Presidential candidate in the 2012 cycle, and even John Kasich, who this blogger thinks was the best Republican Presidential candidate in the 2016 cycle, does not match up to him in background, experience, and solid quality.

Huntsman has solid credentials for diplomacy, including knowledge of several foreign languages, including Mandarin Chinese, and did an excellent job for Barack Obama in that nation as our ambassador from 2009-2011.

While of course we need an excellent ambassador to Russia, why oh why, would Huntsman allow himself to be associated with our despicable President, particularly in the midst of the controversy over his Russian connections, which might force Trump out of office at some point?

Huntsman is 57 this month, and was rumored to be planning to challenge Senator Orrin Hatch, President Pro Tempore, and third in line for the Presidency, for his seat in 2018, when Hatch would be running for his 8th term at age 84. That would have made sense for Huntsman long term.

This blogger’s head is shaking in disbelief!