US Senate

Labor Day: Too Many Americans Do Not Realize How Much Labor Unions Have Done!

We are living in a time of labor union decline, and attacks on organized labor itself, beginning with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan!

Too many people have no idea or regard for the importance of labor unions in American history, and the struggle for decent working conditions in our nation!

Without the labor struggles of the past, we would not have:

Minimum Wage and Maximum Hours
Eight Hour Work Day
Five Day Work Week
End of Child Labor
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Sick Leave
Vacation Pay
Paid Holidays
Right of Labor to Organize and Bargain Collectively
Progress toward Equal Pay for Women
Retirement Pensions and Health Care Coverage

There has been backtracking and attacks on organized labor by Republicans on the national and state level, and particularly in the South, labor continues to be under strong attack, as it has always been.

But to imagine an America where workers have no rights is, sadly, much of what American workers see today, including a new revelation—wage theft becoming a problem for millions of workers being exploited by their employers.

So those who fight for labor rights, led by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, need the support of all of us, even if we are not members of organized labor unions. Too much is at stake to remain silent!

Republican Weakness In Defeating Democratic Incumbents In Senate Races A Long Term Trend!

In all of the discussion of US Senate races in the upcoming Midterm Elections of 2014, many fail to realize the historical record of the failure of Republicans to have much success in defeating Democratic incumbents over a long period of time, while Democrats have been much more successful in that regard.

From 1946 to 2012, only TWICE have Republicans been able to defeat a large number of Democratic incumbents–1946 (10) and 1980 (12).

Since 1982, the number of Democratic incumbents defeated in each two year cycle has never been more than two, and six times there have been NO Democratic incumbents defeated.

Meanwhile, Democrats have defeated Republican incumbents in large numbers many times—8 in 1948; 10 in 1958; 7 in 1986; 5 in 2000; and 6 in 2006.

So to assume that a large number of Democratic incumbents, including Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Mark Begich of Alaska; Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Mark Udall of Colorado; Al Franken of Minnesota; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; Tom Udall of New Mexico; and Mark Warner of Virginia will be defeated, defies history!

Since World War II, the reelection rate for US Senators is 80 percent.

And since 1980, Democrats have defeated 38 Republican incumbents, to just 12 for Republicans defeating Democratic incumbents!

The Die Is Cast: The Key Senate Race And The Key Gubernatorial Race Of 2014!

As we look forward to the fall, and just two months until the Midterm elections of 2014, it is clear that there are two key races that will determine a lot of the future of American politics.

One is a Senate race, and the other is a gubernatorial race.

The Senate race is that of Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky against his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the election which is likely to determine if the Republicans win Senate control. It is a very expensive and bitter race, and pits the oligarchy and right wing conservative agenda against a young woman, half McConnell’s age, who is dynamic and charismatic and could be a great leader in the Senate, if only she can overcome the 30 year seniority of McConnell, who has shown no concern about the struggles of his state, and particularly of the large white population in the coal mining industry.

Probably, however, the most expensive single race will be that of former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican from 2007-2011, left the Republican Party, lost an Independent candidacy for the Senate against Marco Rubio in 2010, and then switched to the Democratic Party in 2012. Republican Governor Rick Scott will have tons of money, including his own wealth, to throw against Crist, and this is a classic struggle of a former Governor against a sitting Governor. Scott has been absolutely the worst Governor in America, and there are plenty of candidates for that description! He has done great damage to the environment and to health care and education, and is seen as a true detriment to the state, which is heavily Republican in its legislature, but is turning to Charlie Crist to try to revive the Democratic Party fortunes in the future. Scott also was involved in Medicare fraud, but avoid prison by paying heavy fines, but he should never have been allowed to run for public office after that massive health care scam!

Florida is the largest state to have a truly competitive gubernatorial race, as California with Jerry Brown and New York with Andrew Cuomo do not have really such a situation, and Texas might, with Wendy Davis challenging Greg Abbott, but the polls indicate Florida is a true tossup, as is the Kentucky Senate race.

So these two races are the key ones to focus on, as they will determine a lot of the political future of the next two years!

Mitch McConnell Declares War On Barack Obama, Federal Programs, His Support Of The Koch Brothers, And See Founding Fathers As Radical!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been revealed in a tape of a gathering before billionaires and millionaires to have declared war on Barack Obama, with the intention of refusing any budget unless most federal programs in health care, Social Security, and education are eliminated.

He also declared his loyalty to the billionaire Koch Brothers, who may be spending up to $300 million to turn the Senate Republican, and he is clearly showing himself as an anarchist and nihilist regarding what he sees, as they do, as the evil of the federal government.

McConnell sees the Founding Fathers of the 18th century as radicals, when they promoted the growth of national government as essential to overcome the weaknesses of the decentralized Articles of Confederation.

This revelation makes it more urgent than ever that McConnell MUST be defeated in November, and his Republican party cannot be allowed to gain six or more seats and control of the US Senate, as that would lead to total breakdown of the federal government system, which the Koch Brothers and other oligarchs want so desperately!

Any Chance Of A GOP Woman President Anytime Soon? NO!

The Republican Party is in deep trouble among women in America.

Sure, there are the religious women who are against abortion, and those women who have no problem with the male dominance and sexism of Republican office holders.

These numbers are probably about one third of the nation, and primarily in the South, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain West, not areas generally of high population.

But in the Northeast and New England, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, women as a group are outraged at the male chauvinism and sexism of Republican office holders in Congress, and even in state legislatures.

Women in polls are overwhelmingly Democrats, not so much because the Democrats are without fault or shortcomings, but because they have demonstrated concern for women’s issues, such as health care, education, child care, raising of the minimum wage, single mothers, maternity leaves, campus rapes, and so many other issues that affect women, whether single or married, young or old, every day.

And Republican women officeholders offer no relief, as they back up the sexist, chauvinist men proudly!

Yes, there are four Republican women Governors, although Jan Brewer of Arizona is leaving, and no one would perceive her as caring about women’s issues, or really, anyone but herself and her own selfish interests. She has been a disgraceful, hard hearted Governor of Arizona.

What about Mary Fallin of Oklahoma? She allowed executions to go forth that are clearly promoting “cruel and unusual punishment”, and really torture. She is a disgrace to womanhood and her own reputation!

Then there is Nikki Haley, who would have ambitions, but her record as Governor, and her lack of compassion for poor women in her state, as well as poor people generally, disqualifies her on a national level.

And then, we have Susana Martinez, probably the least objectionable of the four GOP women Governors, but still, except for her Mexican American heritage, seen as a lightweight, and really, a President from New Mexico, who has not served in national government at all? Give us all a break!

So now to the US House of Representatives! Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is leaving government, thank goodness, and yet may face prosecution in scandals involving her Presidential campaign in 2012. Did she ever have anything constructive to say in her eight years in Congress? Of course not, instead coming across as totally looney and uncaring, and ready to issue idiotic, stupid and false statements in unison with equally lunatic male colleagues such as Steve King of Iowa and Louie Gohmert of Texas as only the most outrageous of many looney male Republican colleagues in the lower chamber.

Then we have Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who causes any sane person the desire to roll eyes constantly and shake heads, as to her outrageous statements, not quite as crazy as Bachmann, but still enough to make one wonder what planet she comes from!

Then, there is Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the highest ranking woman Republican ever in the House. She is a pleasant lady, but is not seen as Presidential material, and seems lacking in true understanding of many women’s issues.

The rest of the Republican women in the House are not worthy of consideration at all on a Presidential level, and there are only 19 women Republicans in the House anyway, compared to 63 for the Democrats.

So now to the US Senate, where there are only four Republican women. Susan Collins of Maine is the most distinguished, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but neither is seen as Presidential timber, and they come from states extremely small in population, if not land area.

Deb Fischer of Nebraska is a newcomer, not particularly distinguished, and not seen as Presidential level, and finally, we have Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is often boomed as a possible future candidate, but realistically, no one should put betting money on her, although if any woman Republican presently in office were to announce for President, it would be her.

Face the facts, women Republicans are few and far between, and mostly poorly qualified, and if there is to be a woman President anytime soon, it will be a Democrat!

And those potential Presidents include Hillary Clinton, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Women In Congress And State Governorships

With the celebration of Women’s Equality Day yesterday, it is worth attention to point out statistics on women office holders in the history of America.

There have been 298 women House members, starting with Jeanette Rankin of Montana in 1917. There are 82 women House members in the present, with 62 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

There have been 44 women Senators, starting with Hattie Caraway of Arkansas in 1931, after Rebecca Felton of Georgia served for just one day in 1922. Twenty women serve as Senator in the present, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

There have been 36 woman Governors, starting with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming in 1927. Five women serve as Governor in the present, four Republicans and one Democrat.

Every state has elected women to the House of Representatives except Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota, but the last two states have elected women to the 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.